15 February 2012
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Under Attack--the Golani Brigade's war on the Palestinian population of Al-Khali/Hebron
A newly released report submitted to the United Nations by international organizations working in Al Khalil documents a sharp increase in serious human rights violations against Palestinian civilians, particularly youth and children, living in the Old City and Tel Rumeida since the arrival of the Golani Brigade of the Israeli army on 27 December 2011.
The report documents an increase in arrests and detentions of adults and children, serious physical injuries sustained while in military custody, home invasions, and an increase in the number and duration of arbitrary detentions of civilians at checkpoints. It also documents harassment of and attempts to silence international observers attempting to document these abuses.
Contrary to military justifications, these human rights violations have occurred without observed provocation on the part of Palestinians. These accounts, either reported to or witnessed by internationals working in the city, are believed to represent only a small portion of the total number of abuses.
On Thursday, 12 January, Golani soldiers beat a developmentally disabled young man who had earlier in the day been teased by Border police who kept closing a mechanized door at a checkpoint when he tried to pass through. That evening, the Golani also attacked his mother and beat the teenager’s younger brother, cracking his skull, and then arrested the two young men.
On Tuesday, 17 January, Golani entered a man’s home at night, pushed the family out of their house, including their 1-½ year old son, and beat the father, for which he required medical treatment.
On Friday, 20 January, Golani held a ten and twelve year-old boy behind the gate of the Beit Romano settlement. A witness said the boys had been wearing ski masks because of the cold weather, but had not been throwing rocks, as the soldiers claimed. The soldiers gave the boys’ parents a list containing the names of five other boys from the Old City, saying that if the parents brought those boys to the gate, the soldiers would release the other two.
The full report is available for viewing, along with video and photos, at http://www.cpt.org/underattack