Israeli Colonists Attack Palestinian Man with Downs Syndrome, Assault International Human Rights Worker
by the ISM Media Team, 8 April 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8 April 2007
HEBRON– Yesterday, Israeli colonists attacked a Palestinian man with Downs Syndrome. Mahmoud Dhish, 35, was walking down the street in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron when settlers began harassing him. An international human rights worker (HRW) intervened and began to film the event. The colonists responded by breaking the HRW’s video camera.
Daood, from the UK, recalled the event: “Four Israeli settlers were walking down the hill past Mahmoud. They stopped and started to yell in Mahmoud’s face and began pushing him for no reason.” Daood then said that when he placed himself between Mahmoud and the attackers, the colonists broke his camera, cutting Daood’s left hand in the process, “bleeding quite badly,” said Daood. The colonists then ran off towards the Israeli settlement of Tel Rumeida.
When Daood called the Israeli police, they claimed that they did not speak English. Daood handed the phone to a Palestinian nearby who then relayed the account to the police. “There are no police cars available, you must come to the police station yourself,” replied the policeman.
En route to the station, Daood asked the Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint near the scene of the attack what they had witnessed. According to Daood, the soldier claimed, “we did not see the attack but we saw the settlers. The video camera caught the attack, however, but we cannot submit it as evidence to the police.”
Another HRW in the area took some clear photos of the attackers as they made their way to the settlement. Daood filed a complaint and told the officers he would submit the photo evidence after copying the tapes. Mahmoud made it home with no injuries. The bleeding from Daood’s hand has been controlled.
The Tel Rumeida neighborhood is under complete Israeli military control. Israeli colonists often attack Palestinian residents in Tel Rumeida. Israeli soldiers and police, who are mandated by international law to protect Palestinians and their property, often refuse to intervene. Although Palestinians and internationals file complaints, the Israeli colonists are rarely prosecuted, even with photo and video evidence.
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ISM Media Office, 0599-943-157