October 26th 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank
A Palestinian man, his initials being IS, was harassed along with his family at a checkpoint in Hebron during the Eid celebration. He and his son were reportedly beaten by Israeli soldiers. In the aftermath IS was held by the military for about an hour and finally collapsed. IS suffers from a disability which makes it difficult for him to walk. The family has been harassed by the army several times in the past, living in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of the city.
As it was Eid, the highest Muslim holiday, the family was on their way to visit relatives. They had to go through a checkpoint, where soldiers there provoked them. Soldiers were also heard calling his wife a “bitch.”
As the situation grew more tense, IS and his teenage son were hit by the soldiers. The father was detained by the soldiers at checkpoint 56 as NGOs, ISM and locals rushed to the scene.
Internationals questioned eyewitnesses for details and documented what was happening. The soldiers tried to prevent documentation. Friends of the detained witnessed his distress while sitting in the cold. The soldiers had been ignoring his deteriorating state of health and despite locals demanding treatment, he eventually collapsed.
The Israeli paramedic finally examined him. While doing so, the army claimed he was acting. One of the soldiers was heard saying, ”Put his arm up, if his hand falls on his face he passed out, if it falls to the side he’s faking.” He was given several shots of medication before he regained consciousness. His peers attempted to monitor his health and were asking the soldiers to call an ambulance. Police and an armored vehicle with more soldiers arrived at the scene and tried to separate the crowd in order to evacuate him.
Finally a Red Crescent ambulance parked on the other side of the checkpoint in H1 (the Palestinian controlled part of the city). The paramedics crossed the checkpoint, put the man on a stretcher and examined him. They then took him through the checkpoint and into the ambulance. We later learned that he recovered after treatment in the ambulance.
Earlier this week another son of IS was reportedly attacked by a soldier at Gilbert checkpoint only a hundred meters away from checkpoint 56. IS’s wife works for the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem which helps Palestinians document abuses pertaining to the occupation. It appears the family is being targeted, as if the daily struggle with checkpoints and violence under occupation isn’t enough.
– ISM Khalil team