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Thursday, 14 January 2010

The human face of Israel's Occupation

Christian Peacemakers Team bulletin - just one human face, one story of the reality of Israeli occupation.

For information on Christian Peacemaker Teams see: http://www.cpt.org/

The Palestinian shepherd arrested last week after soldiers attacked his family and CPTers (see http://tiny.cc/cpt1) was tortured before being released by police.

The same eight soldiers who arrested Raba’i and attacked his family took him to a military base at the nearby Suseya settlement. For four hours, soldiers struck him in the back, in the face, and slammed him into walls. The soldiers questioned him about his brothers. Raba’i refused to give any information and refused to speak Hebrew with the soldiers, which infuriated them. The soldiers told him that they would come to his house in the following days and beat or kill him and his brothers. They tried to force him to say that they were the best soldiers in the IDF and beat him when he would not. Raba’i told CPTers the soldiers tied his hands and feet, blindfolded him, and sat him on a chair. Raba’i put his head in his lap, in an attempt to protect his head and his genitals, and refused to lift it. He said that at one point, a soldier cocked his rifle and told him to lift his head or he would shoot him. Raba’i refused. When another soldier tried to bring him food and water, as the military is legally obligated to do in such situations, the soldiers who were torturing him swore at the soldier and told him to leave. The soldiers also refused to allow Raba’i to pray.

After four hours of this interrogation and torture, they took Raba’i to Israeli police station in Kiryat Arba settlement. The Israeli police told him that they usually offer detainees food and water, but were giving him nothing because they wanted to punish him. They said that if they ever saw his face again, they would kill him. After thirty minutes, the police tied his hands and feet, blindfolded him, drove him to a location unknown to him and threw him out of the jeep. Fearing that soldiers, police or settlers might see him, he hid in a bush until he saw his family's car.

Raba'i was able to call his family, who, accompanied by CPTers, found him and brought him home.

For photos of Raba'i’s injuries see here: Injuries-caused-by-soldiers.

Please share this story with your community and consider other ways of supporting CPT's work in Palestine: http://www.cpt.org/participate

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