Life for a Palestinian in the West Bank

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights:

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the harassment and cruel and degrading treatment inflicted upon Palestinian civilians by Israeli troops positioned at military checkpoint throughout the West Bank.

PCHR field workers documents three cases of harassment against Palestinian civilians in the first three days of the week.

…· At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 08 August 2009, Israeli soldiers harassed Tha’er Bader Jaradat, 20, from Sa’ir village northwest Hebron. They attacked him near the Annexation Wall in al-Ram town, north of Jerusalem. He sustained fractures to the legs.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the victim’s testimony, at approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 08 August 2009, Israeli soldiers forced him to jump from a height of 4.5 meters, when they caught him and other civilians attempting to climb the Annexation Wall in al-Ram town. He fell onto the ground, and sustained two fractures to the left leg and one fracture to the right heel. Soon after, Israeli soldiers gathered around him and attempted to force him to stand up and accompany them to a military vehicle. They also released a bloodhound to attack him in order to force him to stand up. When all of these attempts failed, they forced him to creep towards the military vehicle, which was approximately 15 meters away. They handcuffed him and transferred him to the Hamashbir area to the northwest of al-Ram town. Jaradat attempted to go to Jerusalem in order to work in a boutique.

…· On Sunday morning, 09 August 2009, Israeli soldiers positioned at a military crossing established on al-Zahiriya – Bir al-Saba’ road, south of Hebron, harassed Mohammed ‘Abdul Hai ‘Asafra, 26, from Beit Kahel village northwest of Hebron. They forced him to stop while he was his way to work in a workshop in the area. The detained and violently beat him for more than two hours. He sustained bruises throughout the body.

…· At approximately 11:30 on Monday, 10 August 2009, Israeli soldiers patrolling in al-Sahla and Tariq Ben Ziad streets in the south of the old town of Hebron stopped Saleh Mohammed al-Rajabi, 20. They detained and violently beat him for nearly an hour. He sustained bruises throughout the body.

In light of the above:

1. PCHR asserts that acts of harassment are a form of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and constitute serious violations of international human rights standards and instruments, especially the Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of 1984.

2. PCHR calls upon the international community to exert pressure on Israel to dismantle military checkpoints and stop acts of harassment and other violations of human rights and international humanitarian law against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.