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Palestinians arrested after Israeli settlers attack them

Palestinians arrested after Israeli settlers attack them
by ISM Hebron, 30 March 2007

A 48 year old Palestinian man was walking home about 11 am when he was attacked with stones by a 14 year old settler outside the Israeli settlement of Beit Hadassa. Three other settler youths about the same age supported this attack. The soldier on duty intervened and told the settlers to leave.

The Palestinian’s 14 year old son and his friend were approaching from the checkpoint and saw the trouble. As they arrived a settler stopped his car, jumped out, grabbed the son and pushed him up against a car. He managed to escape and ran towards the checkpoint.

A police car stopped and arrested the Palestinian and then came to Beit Hadassa and took ID’s
from the other 2 Palestinians. An adult settler kicked the Palestinian man in the shoulder and ran away. Police did nothing about this. Forty adult settlers came and began shouting and pushing at the police. The Police took all three Palestinians to Kiryat Arba Police Station, telling them that they would be making statements of complaint against the settlers.

When the Palestinians arrived, they were in fact charged with attacking settlers, even though none of them did this. The adult was told he would have to pay a fine of 2000 Israeli shekles before he could leave the police staion or he would be in jail until Monday. He said he had no money. The police said he should ask his friends for money. The Palestinian man said he should not pay since he did nothing wrong. “The settlers should be in prison, not me.” He telephoned the other boy’s father and got him to talk to the police. The Palestinian father was very angry with them and demanded to know why his son was being held and not the settlers who had caused all the trouble.

The police officer told him that he had an order from his commander to collect 2000 NIS before he could let them go. The father said he would be contacting the media to let them know about this fragrant abuse of justice. The police officer consulted with his commander and eventually agreed to let them all go, telling them not to cause any more trouble with the settlers. They had spent 2 hours at the police station and were released in Kiryat Arba Settlement.