ISRAELI POLICE AMBUSH, ASSAULT, AND DETAIN RELATIVES OF FREED PALESTINIAN PRISONER

Mansour Darwish

28-year-old Mansour Darwish, beaten by Israeli police after attempted to welcome his cousin home from prison

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Five Palestinians said they were pulled from their vehicles, violently assaulted, and detained by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem, after returning home from southern Israel where they had attempted to welcome home their relative who had just been released from Israeli prison.

 
Moussa Darwish was set to be released from Ktziot prison in the Negev region on Sunday after completing a 12-year sentence, but the newly freed man found Israeli intelligence officers waiting for him outside the prison, who immediately redetained him.
 
Israeli forces prevented the group of family and friends from approaching Darwish, after they had traveled from Issawiya in East Jerusalem and arrived to the prison.
 
They were notified that Darwish had been taken to Israel’s Russian Compound detention center back in West Jerusalem for interrogation. After several hours, Israeli forces again released Darwish.
 
However, Darwish’s friends and relatives —  Ahmad Darwish, 52, Ibrahim Darwish, 42, Mansour Darwish, 28, Muhammad Ubeid, 25, and Saeb Dirbas, 23 — said that upon their return to Jerusalem, their three vehicles were “ambushed” by Israeli forces who had set up a flying checkpoint at the entrance to the city.
 
In an interview with Ma’an on Wednesday, Mansour Darwish, the former prisoner’s cousin, said that their group encountered a crippling traffic jam caused by the checkpoint.
 
“When we tried to pass the checkpoint, our cars were stopped one after the other. Without even asking for our IDs or driving licenses, they made us step outside, and officers from the Israeli police special Yasam unit started to beat us violently — and we had no idea why.”
 
Mansour highlighted that Israeli forces were heavily deployed in and around the checkpoint while police punched and kicked the five men in the face, chest, behind the ears, and other sensitive areas, also beating them with rifle butts and batons.
 
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52-year-old Ahmad Darwish, pictured with a black eye inflicted by the police beating
 
The five were then taken to the Russian Compound detention center, and shortly after, Ahmad Darwish, Ibrahim Darwish, and Saeb Dirbas were released.
 
Mansour Darwish and Muhammad Ubeid remained in detention until the following day on Monday.
 
Mansour Darwish said that after spending the night in detention, he and Ubeid were taken to court on Monday and the judge decided to release them at a bail of 1,500 shekels (approximately $410) each, and placed them under five-day house arrest.
 
He stressed that Israeli officers continued to assault the five men while they were being transported to the detention center and also while they were inside the compound.
 
“At midnight (Monday) when we were referred to a doctor inside the Russian Compound, he refused to treat us even though we had blood running down our faces, which were badly swollen and bruised.”
 
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Only in the early dawn hours of Monday were they sent for treatment at Israel’s Hadassah hospital in West Jerusalem.
 
The victims told Ma’an that they would file a complaint against Israeli police to the internal investigations department, highlighting that despite accusations from their interrogators that they had “harassed and attacked police officers, were driving very fast, and disobeyed police orders,” they had been travelling within the speed limit and were not given any police orders throughout the ordeal with which to comply.
 
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Ahmad Darwish displays his swollen and bruised elbow
Cases of discrimination, abuse, and mistreatment of Palestinian adults and children by Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem have been well-documented and widely condemned for years.
 
Rights groups have also condemned the expansive network of checkpoints and roadblocks enforced by Israeli police across occupied East Jerusalem, disrupting freedom of movement for some 300,000 Palestinians, which Israeli NGO B’Tselem has said amounts to “collective punishment.”
 
In recent months, Israeli forces have meanwhile escalated a crackdown on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem through hundreds of violent overnight raids, handing down harsh prison sentences to local youth, in addition to a demolition of campaign of Palestinian homes as illegal Israeli settlements in the area continue to expand.
 
Israeli daily Haaretz recently reported that intelligence-gathering raids in East Jerusalem were made in breach of protocol and constituted a violation of residents’ basic rights. The report said that over the course of two months, some 500 Palestinian homes had been raided in East Jerusalem by Israeli police officers who did not present warrants, contrary to proper procedures.
 
(Source / 08.03.2017)

Tags: ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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