13 February 2012 | International Solidarity Movement and Christian Peacemaker Teams
Since the arrival of the Golani Brigade in Hebron on December 27th, international accompaniment organizations (Christian Peacemaker Teams, International Solidarity Movement, and others) have documented an increase in the number of serious human rights violations against the Palestinian people, particularly youth and children in the Old City and Tel Rumeida.
All recorded incidences have been documented through first-hand observation and/or the victims’ testimony. The following report demonstrates a sharp increase in harassment, violence, and human rights violations by the Israeli military towards the Palestinian population of Hebron. Contrary to given justifications, none of those involved were observed to voice or pose any threat to the soldiers. As the Golani Brigade is expected to remain in Hebron another two to five months, members of these international observer organizations fear that such abuses will escalate and make life unbearable for the Palestinians living under occupation in Hebron.
The International Solidarity Movement will publish each segment of the report in a series of articles. To download the full report, please click the following link: FULL REPORT- Under Attack: The Golani Brigade’s war on the Palestinian population of Al-Khalil (Hebron).
International Solidarity Movement, [email protected] (972/0 59-550-02864)
Christian Peacemaker Teams, [email protected] (927/0 59 810 4549) (972/0 54 342 0117)
1. Incidences involving the detention, intimidation, abuse, or arrest of children and youth.
Tuesday, January 3rd: Fifteen Golani soldiers approached a group of children playing outside in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, looking for children that were throwing stones. They had started to arrest a 15 year-old boy when elders, women, and family members came outside to stop them. In response, soldiers hit a woman, a three year-old boy, and a 70 year-old man before firing three sound grenades and detaining two men. These men were taken to the military base and held for two hours.
Saturday, January 7th: Patrolling Golani entered an internet cafe in the Old City and made an apparently arbitrary arrest of a young teenager for not having his ID.
Thursday, January 12th: Golani dragged a developmentally disabled young man into an alley and hit him repeatedly after he knocked on the checkpoint door, which they closed in front of him. This occurred near his home next to the Quiton checkpoint. When his father ran to the alley, the soldiers stopped and released the boy. That same evening, the soldiers entered the family home to attack his mother and beat the boy with nightsticks and fists. The boy’s brother, hearing a noise, came downstairs, where he was grabbed and beaten in the same way. The soldiers then threw him to the ground, searched him, and beat his head with rifles. Both boys were brought to the police station where they held were for an hour and a half. They then released the developmentally disabled young man to his home and transported his brother to Jabara prison, from which he was released later that night. His family took him to the hospital to receive care for a cracked skull, sutures, and care for his hands, which he could not move.
Friday, January 20th: Golani held a 10 and 12 year-old boy behind the gate of the Beit Romano settlement. Soldiers told witnesses and family members, who were present outside the gates, that the boys were detained for “throwing rocks”. A witness said the boys had been wearing ski masks because of the cold weather, but had not been throwing rocks. When the parents arrived at the gate, soldiers approached them with a list of five other boys from the Old City, saying that if the parents brought them to the gate, their sons would be released. The parents did not, but the boys were released two hours later.
Saturday, January 21st: During the settlers’ tour, around 4 pm, Golani soldiers took the 15 year-old brother of the two detained boys from his house and detained him. He was released later that day.
Thursday, February 2nd: Fifteen Golani soldiers detained two children, ages 12 and 13, for 45 minutes on Shuhada Street near the entrance to the Muslim cemetery. Later, six of the soldiers brought the boys up through the cemetery to a military base. In all, they were held for two hours. Both boys were too young to have IDs.
Saturday, February 4th: Eight Golani soldiers in Bab al Baladia grabbed four boys all around the age of nine and detained them in an alley, claiming one of the boys had thrown a stone. No witnesses saw them throw the stone. International observers told the soldiers that the boys were not old enough to be arrested, and the soldier replied that in that case he would “arrest their fathers.” They released the boys 30 minutes later.
Monday February 6th: Six soldiers detained two 11 year-old boys at Quortuba School in Tel Rumeida as school was letting out, telling them that they would be arrested for throwing stones. Several teachers and the principal of the school told the soldiers that they boys were not throwing stones. The soldiers replied, “we will let the boys go this time, but if they ever threw stones against the Israeli people again, we will arrest them and cause problems for your entire school.”
During the calendar month of January 2012, international observers witnessed a sharp increase in the number of Palestinian teenage and school-age boys body-searched by Israeli forces, who had reportedly agreed that soldiers would not search bags of children attending school. This number has not been documented through the course of this report but is clear to observers on the ground. Furthermore, according to residents, compared to previous brigades stationed in Hebron, the Golani have greatly increased this type harassment.