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From the field

30 June 2010: Security forces suspected of three cases of abusing Palestinians in recent months

Update: Ashraf A'mar - The two parallel cases that had been opened by the DIP and MPIU to examine the circumstances of the incident were closed upon conclusion of the investigations; Zidan a-Samamreh - On 13 May 2013 the MAG Corps informed B'Tselem that the investigation file had been closed. The grounds for closing the case were not given; Fuad al-Ghaneimat - The investigation opened by the DIP was closed upon conclusion of investigation for absence of guilt. An appeal to the State Attorney filed by Att. Gaby Lasky was denied.

B'Tselem has documented three cases in recent months in which Palestinians suspected of being in Israel without a permit report severe abuse by the Israeli security forces. After B'Tselem submitted a complaint, the Military Police Investigation Unit and the Department for Investigation of Police opened investigations into the incidents.

B'Tselem collected testimonies relating to three separate incidents in which security forces are suspected of assaulting and severely abusing Palestinians they accused of staying in Israel without a permit. In their testimonies to B'Tselem, the victims stated that they were severely beaten, humiliated, and maltreated. Two of the victims required medical treatment. Last October, B'Tselem revealed a similar series of cases of abuse, which took place in the southern Hebron hills.

Ashraf A'amarThe first case occurred on 10 January 2010. Soldiers arrested Ashraf A'mar while he was on his family's land near Khirbet Jinba, Hebron District. The soldiers accused him of having been in Israel without a permit and took him for questioning, probably in Israel, by a security body whose identity is not known to B'Tselem. In his testimony to B'Tselem, A'amar stated that the interrogators beat him unconscious. It is unclear what transpired thereafter. B'Tselem has documents indicating that, on the day of the incident, at 7:45 P.M., Magen David Adom received a call reporting that there was a semi-conscious person at the entrance to ‘Aro'er, a community in the Negev. The medics who came to the scene took A'mar, whose identity was unknown to them, to the emergency room at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. After only a few hours at the hospital, police took him to the Negev Region police station for questioning. The next morning, A'mar was released without any charges being filed against him. He was then hospitalized at ‘Aliya Government Hospital, in Hebron, for twelve days. B'Tselem contacted the authorities charged with investigating the conduct of security forces and demanded that they investigate the matter immediately. B'Tselem has been informed that the Department for the Investigation of Police has opened an investigation.

Zidan a-SamamrehThe second case occurred on 7 March 2010. Soldiers arrested Zidan a-Samamreh and Muhammad a-Samamreh while they were trying to enter Israel. According to their testimony to B'Tselem, the soldiers ordered them to undress down to their underpants. One soldier, who arrived at the scene a short while later, cuffed and blindfolded them, and then kicked them and hit them with his rifle. During the assault, the soldier fractured Zidan a-Samamreh's hand. Subsequently, the soldiers allowed the two to get dressed. The soldiers held the men for several hours, during which time they beat them intermittently and refused to give them water to drink. The two were then released without charges being filed against them. Zidan a-Samamreh was treated at ‘Aliya Government Hospital for his broken hand. B'Tselem wrote to the Judge Advocate for Operational Matters, demanding an immediate investigation into the incident. The Military Police Investigation Unit is investigating the matter.

Fuad a-GhaneimatOn 9 May 2010, policemen arrested Fuad al-Ghaneimat in Bet Shemesh. According to his testimony to B'Tselem, the policemen assaulted him, beating him with their hands and a club. They then took him to the local police station, where one of the policemen slammed al-Ghaneimat's head against the wall, causing him to lose consciousness. After he regained consciousness, the policeman continued to beat him. Beaten and cuffed, al-Ghaneimat was taken to interrogation. Under threat, he signed a declaration at the end of the interrogation, indicating he had not been beaten by police. He was released at night without receiving any medical treatment and without any charges being filed against him. B'Tselem wrote to the Department for the Investigation of Police, demanding an investigation. DIP is investigating the circumstances of the incident.