04th May 2015 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine
In the early evening of Friday the 1st of May, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian youths in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of occupied Al-Khalil (Hebron). Nizar Salhab, accused of attacking a settler was released the same evening, Awne Imad Abu Shamsiyeh was only released the next evening and now faces charges in an Israeli military court.
Around 5 o’clock on Friday, Israeli soldiers physically assaulted Awne Abu Shamsiyeh at the entrance to his family’s house. When his father heard the commotion he came out and started filming the incident. The soldier attacking Awne escaped to the nearby illegal settlement in order not to be filmed. Awne was left with marks on his neck from the attack.
Shortly afterwards, another Palestinian boy, 14-year old Nizar Salhab, was detained by Israeli forces. He was physically assaulted by an Israeli settler, who was allowed to leave the scene of the incident as soon as soldiers turned up. Nizar was taken to the military base in Tel Rumeida illegal settlement. After video evidence (filmed by Human Rights Defenders) of the settler attacking Nizar was brought to the police station, he was eventually released the same night. Even with the video showing clearly the settler attacking Nizar, the assailant does not face any consequences for his actions.
About an hour after Awne was first attacked by Israeli soldiers, he was arrested outside his house and taken to Givat Ha’vot police station in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba and formally charged. He had to spend the night in a prison in Hebron. Awne’s lawyer managed to negotiate bail of 500 shekels so he could be released.
Initially, the family was told that the court date would be the next day, Sunday, leaving only one night for Awne to spend with his family. Later that evening, it was confirmed that the court date will be postponed until June. What will happen now is still unknown .
The Abu Shamsiyeh family lives in H2 close to Israeli settlements in Hebron (Al Khalil) and experience extensive harassment from both Israeli settlers and soldiers. Just a few months ago, settlers tried murdering the family by poisoning their water tank. Luckily, the family noticed that something was wrong before drinking any of the water. Awne has been arrested several times before, and was violently detained a month ago with visible marks on his neck.
On the following day, Nizar Salhab was again detained by Israeli soldiers, with no reason given. Local and international volunteers documenting the incident were harassed by settlers from the nearby illegal settlements, as shown in this video taken by Human Rights Defenders.
Palestinians, especially in H2, live in constant uncertainty about their future. They know that the Israeli soldiers might arrest them at any time and for no identifiable reason. And they know that once they are arrested there is no telling when they will be free again.
In 2014 three children were killed as a direct result of Israeli military and settler presence in Hebron. A total of 182 Palestinian children were in Israeli detention in the month of February 2015 alone, with 25 of them being only twelve to 15 years old.
Read an interview with Awne (2014) about his experiences and daily life in H2.
Read about Israeli settlers poisoning the Abu Shamsiyeh family’s water tank.