Testimony: Soldiers beat Majed al-Hajahjeh near his home in Tuqu', breaking his hand, Jan. '09

Update: On 1 January 2012 the MAG Corps informed B'Tselem that upon conclusion of the investigation, the case was closed. The grounds for closing the case were not given.

Majed al-Hajahjeh, merchant

Majed al-Hajahjeh

We live at the entrance to Tuqu'. On Saturday, 17 January, around 8:00 A.M., I left the house and walked to the main road to go by taxi to Hebron and from there to Beit Fajer. I had scheduled meetings with shopkeepers in Beit Fajer who owed me money. I got to the road at 8:10. I was alone and waited about ten minutes.

Suddenly, an army jeep came from the southern direction. It stopped next to me, and the soldier sitting next to the driver told me, in Arabic, to give him my identity card. I gave it to him. I wasn't concerned, because I had never had problems with the army. After about ten minutes passed, the soldier told me to go over to him. I thought he intended to give me back my ID card and let me go. I went over to him and he hit me in the head with a club. I felt like I was losing my balance.

He got out of the jeep. He was black, short, about twenty years old. He grabbed me by the throat with his two hands and slammed my head onto the jeep. A few soldiers got out of the jeep and hit me with black clubs. I think they were plastic-covered wooden clubs. They beat me all over my body, especially my head. I covered my head with my hands to protect myself. My hands were bloody from the blood from my head. I went down onto my knees and cried out in pain. The soldiers continued to beat me with clubs and to kick me in the neck, back, and hands. My right hand hurt in particular. It hurt so much, I thought I was going to die. Blood flowed from my head onto my face and neck. I fell over and couldn't breathe.

I don't know how long the beating continued, but it was a long time. At the end, I heard a soldier say, “Forget about him, he's dead.” One of them came over to me, spit at me, and threw my ID card at me. Then they got into the jeep and drove off.

I remained there, lying on the ground. It hurt so much, I thought I'd die. I don't know how much time passed , before I suddenly realized I was inside a car. The driver told me, “I'm taking you for treatment. Don't speak and don't lose consciousness.” I lost consciousness and woke up when somebody asked me to open my eyes. He was a doctor. He stitched the wound in my head. He said it was a deep wound and that they had to do a C.T., so they took me to the hospital in Beit Jala. I don't know which clinic I was in.

I was taken by ambulance to the government hospital in Beit Jala, where they X-rayed me and said my right hand was fractured and that I had bruises on my left hand and all over my body. They put a cast on my hand and referred me to the Arab non-profit organization in Beit Jala for a C.T. Then they returned me to the hospital in Beit Jala. Other than the pain, I had low blood pressure and vomited. I was given medicine for the blood pressure and the vomiting.

I was hospitalized for two nights and was told to return for check-ups. Now I lie in bed at home. My head and hand really hurt, and I can't do anything.

Majed Ahmad Hussein al-Hajahjeh, married with two children, is a merchant and a resident of Tuqu' in Bethlehem District. His testimony was given to Suha Zeid at the witness's house on 21 January 2009.