In the past week, Al-Haq documented the case of a young Palestinian who was taken from his home in ‘Izbet al-Tabib village, by Israeli soldiers. Later, the youth was placed in military detention, where he was stabbed in the back with a sharp object, by an Israeli soldier.
Tha’er Bayan Tabib – ‘Izbet al-Tabib village – Qalqiliya
On 9 December 2013, Tha’er, 18, was at home sleeping in the living room. At approximately 2:00 AM, he awoke to find two armed Israeli soldiers asking his father, Bayan Tabib, 48, if anyone was on the roof of their house. His father replied that no one was there. Then one of the soldiers checked the bottom of Tha’er’s shoes and asked him why they were wet. Tha’er responded that it had been raining that day. The soldier suggested that Tha’er had been on the roof throwing stones at them. Tha’er refuted the allegation and maintained that he had been asleep. Thereupon, the soldier felt his bed and found that it was warm.
One of the soldiers ordered Tha’er to leave the house with them. When Tha’er’s mother asked why, the soldier explained that they needed to check whether footprints outside matched Tha’er’s. An officer named Ya’ish, along with another soldier, took Tha’er to the first floor of the house. There, Tha’er saw about 10 Israeli soldiers and two military jeeps in front of the house. They took Tha’er to the main street, about 250 metres away, while the rest of the military force followed them, searching the street with torches.
Minutes later, an investigator dressed in military clothes approached Tha’er and compared the bottom of his shoes with foot prints on the side walk. About half an hour later, the investigator informed the officer that Tha’er’s footprints did not match the ones on the side walk and that he should be released. According to Tha’er, the investigator repeated this five times to the officer. However, the officer tied Tha’er’s hands behind his back and put him into a military jeep.
After some time, the jeep arrived at the Israeli Border Police military camp located at the entranceway of Qalqiliya. After Tha’er stepped out of the jeep, a soldier blindfolded him. He was taken to a room and interrogated by an Israeli officer. He was questioned about throwing stones that night and on two other occasions. Tha’er denied the officer’s accusations. He explained that he had been asleep and awoke to find an Israeli officer ordering him to bring him his shoes.
The interrogation lasted approximately 45 minutes. Afterwards, Tha’er was taken to the military tower but he was brought down shortly after and taken back into a room. He lay on an iron bed while the room’s door remained open. Every once in a while, a soldier would enter the room and kick Tha’er so he could not fall asleep. Tha’er was not offered any food or water and was kept in this condition for approximately twelve hours.
The following day, after 3:00 PM, Tha’er was transferred by military jeep to Tsufim Military camp located to the northern side of Qalqiliya. He remained in the jeep for about half an hour and was then taken back to the Israeli Border Police military camp, where he was detained.
About 15 minutes later, two soldiers came into Tha’er’s room. One of the soldiers swore at him in Hebrew, pushed him against the wall while his hands were tied behind his back and blindfolded. Throughout the whole time, Tha’er could peep through the piece of cloth as it was not tight. Tha’er saw the soldier holding a sharp object, which he believed to be a knife, and then felt a twinge in the left side of his back.
Approximately ten minutes later, an older Israeli officer came into the room and asked Tha’er if he wanted food or water. He brought him food and removed the blindfold. As he was untying his hands, he noticed blood on Tha’er’s hand and on the floor. Tha’er was shocked to see blood. The officer asked him about it and Tha’er responded that one of the soldiers had stabbed him with a sharp object. The officer blindfolded Tha’er again and led him to another room. There, a female soldier treated Tha’er’s wound and he was taken to another room with his hands tied behind his back, for four more hours.
At approximately 7:15 PM, Tha’er was released from the military camp. An Israeli soldier accompanied him to the entrance gate, untied him and removed the blindfold. He told Tha’er in Arabic to “take care of himself and go home”. Tha’er took a taxi back to his village. He was taken to the hospital where his wound was x-rayed and stitched. He was given medication and discharged later that night. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 9183/2013)
Al-Haq condemns the ill-treatment endured by the young man at the hands of the Israeli officers and reminds Israel that arbitrary arrest and detention are in violation of fundamental human rights norms. Under international humanitarian law, protected persons are entitled in all circumstances, to humane treatment and shall be protected against all acts of violence or threats, and insult. In particular, Al-Haq is concerned with techniques employed by the Israeli military, such as sleep deprivation, prolonged use of blindfolds and handcuffs, deprivation of food and water, and the stabbing of a detainee. Accordingly, Al-Haq calls upon Israel to abide by its obligations under the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that no one should be subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment and reminds Israel of its obligation to investigate and prosecute torture as a criminal offense. Detainees are entitled to humane treatment in detention under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, which includes the right to adequate food and water. Al Haq is particularly concerned that these minimum humanitarian and human rights guarantees have been breached.