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From the field

Hebron: IDF soldiers abuse a 7th grade student, September 2002

Amajad Gheith, age 13 , 7th grade student, resident of Hebron, area H2

I am a student in the 7th grade and I live in Hebron, in area H2. My house is close to the elementary school for boys, where I study. The school is adjacent to a military checkpoint, which is situated on the Tomb of the Patriarchs-Kiryat Arbah road.

On Wednesday, September 18, 2002, at about 10:00 A.M., I sat in a lesson in my classroom. I was sitting in the back of the room, next to a window. Suddenly, the door opened and two soldiers entered and approached me. They demanded that I accompany them and one of them pulled me by my right hand. Two teachers tried to intervene, but they couldn't stop them, and I went with them down the stairs. Downstairs in the schoolyard, two more soldiers were waiting for us. The took me opposite the school, and one of them slapped me on the face and said, '“You throw stones and curse at soldiers.'” I answered that I had not done so. The soldier that hit me put his gun to my forehead and said that they will kill me. I wasn't scared, but the soldier pressed his finger on my arm and hurt me. I started to cry and the second soldier intervened. He was tall and full-bodied. He recommended to the first soldier that they take me to the military checkpoint.

I went with the two soldiers to the military checkpoint, and there, the soldier asked me a second time if I had thrown stones and cursed at the soldiers. I said I hadn't. Later, the tall, fat soldier pulled me to him forcefully and kissed me on the face. I didn't understand why he did that. While I was with the two soldiers, a Border Police jeep arrived and stopped at the checkpoint. The officer in the jeep asked me if I had thrown stones at the soldiers, and I said I hadn't. The officer instructed me to leave the place.

I returned to school and continued with the school day. When I returned home, I told my mother what had happened. On the way home, a soldier blocked my path and kicked me. He said he would hang me if I threw stones at soldiers again.

Amajad Hani Muhammad Gheith, born in 1989, is 7th grade student, and a resident of Hebron, area H2. The testimony was taken by Mussa Abu Hashash on October 24, 2002, in Hebron.