Video: Police officer slaps detainee, Hebron police station, 21 July 2013
Update: On 15 August 2013 the DIP informed B’Tselem that after examining the incident, it was found that its circumstances do not warrant a criminal investigation. Moreover, the DIP stated that even should the conduct attributed to the Border Police officer be substantiated, end even if it were wrong under the circumstances, it does not meet the criteria for initiating criminal proceedings. In response, and once it became clear that neither the detainee nor the abusive policeman had been located, B’Tselem wrote to the DIP once more. B’Tselem demanded that the DIP reconsider its decision after it had exhausted all efforts to locate the parties involved. In November 2013, the DIP informed B’Tselem that it had reviewed its decision and decided to let it stand.
At around midnight on Sunday, 21 July 2013, B’Tselem camera volunteer Raed Abu Ermeileh was contacted by several Palestinian teenagers who were in the area of the police station near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. They told Abu Ermeileh that they had seen police officers drive up with a detainee who appeared to be a minor and take him into the station. Abu Ermeileh, whose home overlooks the station, began filming what was happening below.
Just before 1:00 A.M. (22 July 2013), approximately an hour after the police officers arrived at the station with the detainee, they all came out of the station. Abu Ermeileh filmed one of the police officers leading the detainee – who was barefoot – out of the station, towards a parked police car. As they walked, the police officer slapped the detainee several times on the nape of his neck (minutes 00:17 and 00:24 in the video). The detainee was then put in the car and, a few minutes later, the car with three police officers and the detained drove off.
B’Tselem’s field researchers went to considerable lengths to identify the detainee in order to gather more information about the incident. They requested the details of Palestinians detained or arrested that day from the Palestinian DCO, from Defense for Children International (DCI) and from Palestinian non-profit Nadi al-Asir, but none of the names supplied matched the details of the incident. The researchers also showed the video footage to many families living in the area of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, but none identified the detainee. To date (31 July 2013), B’Tselem has been unable to ascertain his identity.
Note: the detainee’s face has been blurred in the video, as B’Tselem was unable to request his permission for airing the images.