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Israeli soldiers detain and harass Hebron residents at checkpoint

30 May 2009

Harassment of Palestinians at checkpoints happens regularly in the West Bank. Several of the abuses against Palestinians by Israeli soldiers in Hebron were documented by international solidarity activists from the ISM.

On the afternoon of 26th of May, Israeli border police stopped five young Palestinian men in a temporary checkpoint in the old town. The men were not given a reason for their detainment but were lined up against the wall for some time. After an hour, international solidarity activists arrived and 2 of the men were released. Eventually, 6 international solidarity activists were present and arguing with the soldiers. Another 2 men were released and given back their ids 15 minutes later. The border police took the remaining detained Palestinian to a closed off area near the Ibrahimi Mosque, stopping the internationals from following them. He was released within 10 minutes but with a written order to arrive at the Israeli police station for further interrogation.

At 7:30pm on the 27th of May, a young Palestinian man was stopped at a checkpoint. He was held for one hour and managed to call his father. His father and 2 brothers arrived at the checkpoint and the Israeli soldiers took their ids as well. According to the father, Adris, the Israeli soldier who stopped his son is known to be a settler from a nearby settlement and is frequently harrassing Palestinians. This Israeli settler/soldier has called family members and other settlers to encourage them to come to the checkpoint and harrass Adris and his 3 sons. According to Adris, he and his sons were held for 2 hours as the settlers and soldiers spoke abusively about Adris, his family and Islam. Additionally the settlers used physical violence against the Palestinians, kicking Adris in the lower leg. Adris explained that he tried to call the police but they never showed up.

According to the United Nations, there are 14 checkpoints, 13 iron walls and fences, 44 roadblocks, 13 road gates and 5 observation towers in Hebron city.