by ISM Hebron, February 2nd
Yesterday shepherd Bilal Il Qadi was abducted from his home in Tel Rumeida at around 2pm by the IOF after a sheep had been seen in an olive grove on CCTV. The sheep was seen in an olive grove belonging to the Abu Haykel family, which is frequently used to graze animals and as a thoroughfare for local residents. Bilal didn’t appear on the CCTV as he wasn’t in the olive grove at the time anyway. Soldiers took him to the IOF post at the top of Tel Rumeida street.
International human rights workers (HRWs) and a lawyer arrived at the post at 2.50pm and asked why Bilal was being detained. They were told there was a sign in the olive grove saying it was forbidden for Palestinians to be there – when investigated this was found to be untrue. When the police arrived they handcuffed and blindfolded Bilal before taking him to the police station. He was released after having spent two hours in captivity.
Bilal was told that he wasn’t allowed to be in the olive grove and that if he went there again he would be shot. At the same time as Bilal’s abduction, local children were being given a lesson on Martin Luther King and the US Civil Rights Movement.