9th October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine
Yesterday at approximately 10 PM in the Qeitun region of Al-Khalil (Hebron), a group of 6 Israeli soldiers accused 14-year-old Amjad Taha of throwing fire crackers at them outside of his home. Amjad’s cousin, Muhammad Taha (17 years-old), was standing close by with his 2-year-old cousin when the Israeli soldiers began to aggressively grab Amjad. A few of the soldiers then grabbed Muhammad, who was still holding his baby cousin. The soldiers began to take Amjad, Muhammad, and their baby cousin away from the front of their house.
The 2-year-old’s father and the boys’ uncle, Jamil, hearing the soldiers outside his home, came outside to where the boys were to find the Israeli soldiers attempting to take his nephews and son away. Jamil took his baby son from Muhammad and then the soldiers became increasingly aggressive to both boys. The Israeli soldiers proceeded to hit Muhammad in his leg and then push him against the wall causing him more pain. While this was happening, the boy’s uncle, Osama Taha (27 years-old), ran towards Muhammad and attempted to stop the Israeli soldiers from beating him by pushing a soldier away from his nephew. Then the soldier grabbed Osama and told him that he would kill him. The Israeli soldier then shot a live bullet into the air as a warning. Seven more Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene and they proceeded to blindfold Amjad, Muhammad, and Osama. Then the Israeli soldiers violently forced them into an Israeli army jeep. As Muhammad was being forced into the jeep, the soldiers pushed his head onto the vehicle causing him pain. Amjad was also pushed against the jeep very forcefully resulting in a broken finger.
The three blindfolded Palestinians were then taken to Shuhada checkpoint in Tel Rumeida and transferred into Israeli police custody. The Israeli police took all of them to the police station by Ibrahimi Mosque in H2 for questioning. Amjad and Muhammad were held there until 1 in the morning. Osama Taha was kept in the police station and then transferred to a prison near Bethlehem where he is currently being held without charge. Osama’s brother told ISM activists: “I can’t believe they still have him. He didn’t do anything. He was just trying to protect his nephew. Osama has learning disabilities. I really fear for how this will affect him and how they will treat him.”
As a result of the Jewish holidays, the amount of soldiers in Al-Khalil (Hebron) has increased immensely. The Israeli army enters Palestinian neighborhoods almost weekly, detaining and arresting Palestinians without cause or reason. This method of harassment is one of many tools that the Israeli army uses in an effort to force Palestinians out of their homes.