How did Mohammad Wahdan, 41, become the target of
rubber-coated bullets fired by an Israeli soldier on Beit Eeba
checkpoint, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
He only wanted to cross the checkpoint, along with his five children,
on their way to an Israeli prison to visit an older son in detention.
Upon arriving at the checkpoint, soldiers told them that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s closed
Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfor security reasonsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, and that they have to return back home.
Wahdan tells his story, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I arrived to the checkpoint and greeted a
female soldier, they greeted me back, and said that I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cross
because the checkpoint is closed, she said Ã¢â‚¬Å“you [Palestinians] want to
carry a bombing outÃ¢â‚¬Â, we argued for a while as I was trying to tell her
not to say Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬Â, but she insisted and kept telling me that all Ã¢â‚¬Å“What
We want is bombingsÃ¢â‚¬Â, and that we do not want peace.
After a few minutes an Israeli officer arrived and threatened to handcuff Wahdan, after arguing with him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He wanted me to raise my shirt, and threatened to shoot me, I refused
to allow him handcuff me, then I raised my shirt up, and told him that
am unarmed and that he canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t shoot an unarmed manÃ¢â‚¬Â, Wahdan said.
Ã¢â‚¬ËœBu he fired a rubber coated bulletÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Wahdan said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The bullet missed
me, but he went to the jeep and brought another rifle and hit meÃ¢â‚¬Â.
The soldier attempted to arrest Wahdan later on, but the huge crowd of
Palestinians their was able to prevent the arrest, Wahdan left the
checkpoint without passing.
A student of Al-Najah University in Nablus who was present at the
checkpoint, and witnessed the event said that Ã¢â‚¬Å“the soldier was
irritated by the calm behavior of WahdanÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I beat one of my sons for begging the soldiers to leave me aloneÃ¢â‚¬Â
Wahdan said that he will never degrade himself to let Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jewish soldiersÃ¢â‚¬Â degrade him, and told his son Ã¢â‚¬Å“never to beg themÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Wahdan told reporters that he intends to file a complaint against the officer.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I told the soldier that I intend to file a complaint, but he said that
he will shoot me, and told me Ã¢â‚¬Ëœlets see what will this complaint and
the Israeli democracy do to youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â, Wahdan added.
The Israeli army, in response to the incident, claimed that soldiers told Wahdan that he can pass, but without his sons.
Also, Wahdan added that soldiers confiscated a digital cam he was carrying; soldiers took the cam by force.
The Israeli army said that a Palestinian man, along with his children,
arrived at Beit Eeba checkpoint on April 19, and that he asked the
soldiers to allow him to pass.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The soldiers told him that the area is closed, and that he will be allowed to cross without his sonsÃ¢â‚¬Â, the army report said.
Also, soldiers claimed in their report that the father started to make
chaos at the checkpoint; soldiers tried to stop him without any result,
then one officer shot him in his leg.
Army claimed that a probe will be carried out in the incident.