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From the field

Testimony: Border policeman beats Majdi 'Alan and threatens to shoot him, a-Sheikh Sa'ed Checkpoint, East Jerusalem, Jan. '09

Update: On 25 August 2009 the MAG Corps informed B'Tselem that the investigation file had been closed for absence of guilt.

Majdi 'Alan, laborer

Majdi 'Alan

My family and I live in Jabal al-Mukabber. My uncles live in Sheikh Sa'ed, and I visit them a lot on weekends. Because of the wall, they can't come to visit us.

On Thursday, 22 January 2009, I went to visit my uncle Ahmad ‘Abd ‘Alan, 28. I slept at his house and the next morning, Friday, around 10:00, I walked to the Sheikh Sa'ed checkpoint on my way home to in Jabal al-Mukabber. At the checkpoint, a border policeman told me to give him my identity card and to remove whatever I had in my pockets. He was short, pale-skinned, and about twenty or so years old. While emptying out my pockets, he checked me with a metal detector and told me to turn around. I asked him to treat me like a human being.

Before I could finish the sentence, the policeman in charge of the checkpoint, who was standing next to us, began to shout at me. He told me to shut up and do what the policeman said. I know that policeman. His name is Yoav. I tried  to explain to him what happened, but he hit me my hand. He grabbed me by the neck, and I tried to push him to protect myself. Then he hit me with the butt of this rifle and punched me. He hit me in the face and all over my body. The beating went on for a few minutes. I didn't know if I should defend myself or take the humiliation and pain. I tried to block his blows, and then he aimed his rifle at me and threatened to shoot. He swore at me, and I swore back at him. That was the only thing I could do to in response to his blows. Then a few security guards at the checkpoint moved him away from me. He continued to swear at me and threaten me. He said, “You'll see what I'm going to do to you.”

Five minutes after that, two Border Police jeeps pulled up. Border policemen cuffed me with metal handcuffs. About eight police officers stood around the one who beat me and listened to his story. I was next to the jeep and didn't hear their conversation, but I knew they were talking about me because he pointed at me during their conversation.

Then they put me into the jeep and took me to Checkpoint 300. At the checkpoint, they took me out,  sat me down in a cubicle and closed the door. I called my brother and told him where I was. It was around 10:30. After a while, I asked the policemen for some food and water. They brought me water and told me they didn't have food. Later, my brother came, and I asked one of the policemen to tell him I was hungry and ask him to bring food and cigarettes. The policeman did as I asked, and he later handed me the things my brother brought.

They kept me in the cubicle until 5:30 P.M..  While there, an interrogator came and questioned me for fifteen minutes. He accused me of assaulting a police officer. I told him what happened, that I was the one who was assaulted, not the policeman.

At 5:30 P.M. or so,  they took me to the Russian Compound [Jerusalem Police Headquarters]. I sat in a room there for about two hours. Then they put me in a Border Police jeep and we drove off to another place. The policeman who had assaulted me earlier was sitting in the front seat. While we driving, he swore at me and threatened he would put me in jail.

At about 7:40 P.M., we arrived at ‘Atarot. They took me to an interrogation room. Inside was the same interrogator who had questioned me at Checkpoint 300. He asked me to sign all kinds of documents, among them a commitment to appear in court if I am summoned. They let me go around 8:30 P.M.. 

I arrived home tired and in pain. I was still in pain two days later, so I went to the doctor. He examined me and gave me pain killers./>

Majdi Muhammad 'Ali 'Alan, 25, is a laborer and a resident of Jabal al-Mukabber neighborhood in East Jerusalem. His testimony was given to Kareem Jubran in Jabal al-Mukabber on 1 February 2009.