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Harassment and Arrest of Young Men in the Salfit District

Harassment at the Checkpoint

On April 26th a young man came to the IWPS house in Deir Istiya to complain of harassment by Israeli police at the Zatara checkpoint. The MPTer was present and participated in the interview. The following information was taken from the International Women’s Peace Service [IWPS] Human Rights Report.

The 24-year old man from Hares village, Salfit, returning home after taking his wife and two other students to An Naja University, Nablus, reported that he was trailed from Huwarra by an unmarked car along Route 60 as far as Za’tara (Tappuah) Junction and Checkpoint. He was stopped by plain clothed men from the trailing car, who then put on police hats. He said that they threw him to the ground, handcuffing his wrists behind his back and standing with a boot on his neck. He was held like this for approximately 2 hours in the hot sun. He was not searched. A police dog was used to sniff his car and the police threatened to tear his car apart. This young man has been repeated stopped and harassed in checkpoints in the area. His only “crime” is being a young Palestinian man.

House Invasions and Arrests in Deir Istiya

On 29 April 2010, between 2am to 4am, soldiers of the Israeli army invaded the Deir Istiya village of the Salfit district, arresting 5 young men. In all cases as of afternnoon May lst, there has been no information concerning their whereabouts. The families requested International Women’s Peace Service [IWPS] intervention. IWPS has a presence in the Salfit district.

All families suffered harrowing experiences. It was surmised that about 70 soldiers were involved in the home invasions and arrests. Two families were forced to stand outside in the cold night air for 45 minutes. One 16-year old had been detained for a total of 10 hours when he was 11 years old. Another 20 year old young man had been arrested last year and spent 2 weeks in jail. The soldiers said they would take him outside for only 5 -10 minutes, but he was not returned to the family.

The 19 year old son of one family had medical issues, an injured ankle because of being beaten by Israeli soldiers previously and an eye problem for which he had appointment with an eye doctor. He has been detained two times before at ages 15 and 17.

A 22-year old was taken out in his night clothes and slippers and handcuffed in front of his family. This young man had a severe tooth problem and had a dental appointment for the following day.

When another 22 year old was not in his home, soldiers damaged furniture and threatened and used abusive language with the family. Soldiers photographed the home, pinned down the mother, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, and they temporarily handcuffed the eldest son. Under threat of further destruction of the house and holding an uncle’s Israeli work permit, the captain demanded that their son give himself up to the Israeli army in Qalqiliya the following day. Their son did report to the army office there that afternoon, but there is no subsequent news of his whereabouts. This young man has stomach problems. This was his third arrest and detention, one of which he spent in the Negev prison.

No charges against these men were ever stated. IWPS called Israeli army central offices, the Israeli army humanitarian office, the Palestinian governmental office, the Red Cross and Red Crescent and the Center for Defence of Children [Israeli] trying to locate the young men. As of noon May lst there has been no further information of the whereabouts of these young men. The families will take further action with the Red Cross in order to locate their sons.

No pictures were taken by IWPS as a point of security for the young men. The report on the arrests in Deir Istiya was taken from IWPS Human Rights Reports. MPT was present in Deir Istiya, working with IWPS.

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