Translated by: Saed Bannoura
Ala Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Al-Shalash, 19 years old, said that he was severely clubbed by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint known as Ã¢â‚¬Å“the container checkpointÃ¢â‚¬Â, to the east of Jerusalem , which separates the north and the south in the West Bank.
‘When I arrived at the checkpoint, the soldiers asked me to present my identity card. When they saw it, they claimed that the number of the ID was wrong, and then they started to beat me and kick me.’
Al-Shalash stated that soldiers then asked him to pay a fee in order to pass the checkpoint, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I did not have any moneyÃ¢â‚¬Â, he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“they started to kick me, punch me and club me, and kept demanding that I pay them money in order to crossÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They said that I have to pay NIS 1000, but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have this amount, so they phoned my father and demanded that he bring NIS 1000 as a ransom in order to release meÃ¢â‚¬Â AlaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ said.
After taking the number from Ala Ã¢â‚¬â„¢, the soldiers phoned his father and made him listen to his son crying and screaming while they wear clubbing him. They told his father that if he wanted his son to be released he would have to pay NIS 1000.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t control myself listening to my son crying, while I was helpless at home, I did not know what to do, or say, I tried to convince them to let him go, but they insisted and kept threatening himÃ¢â‚¬Â, the father said.
After the phone call, the soldiers kept threatening and clubbing Ala Ã¢â‚¬â„¢, and told him that if his father did not bring the money, they would shoot him. The Israeli soldiers repeatedly phoned his father making sure he hear his son being beaten and cursed in a painful way. This lasted from 23:00 PM until 3am the next day.
Ala Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ said that there were two soldiers, among several who clubbed him that he remembers. One of them spoke Arabic fluently, and the other was blond and tall and kept kicking him, and clubbing him in specific parts of his body, including the sensitive parts.
The Father, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I tried to buy some time.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ala Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s father said that he did not know what to do, or how to react. ‘They told me to bring NIS 1000, I tried to gain some time until the morning so I could borrow some money, but they refused.’ His father said. ‘I tired to talk them into leaving my son alone until the morning, but they kept kicking and clubbing himÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I could hear him crying and screaming.’
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was a very hard and painful experience for my son and me, he was suffering, and all what I could was to listen to him. I phoned the Palestinian District Coordination Office. They phoned the police in Atzion military camp and managed to obtain his son’s release after holding him from 23:00 until 03:00 .
Farouq Ameen, head of the District Coordination office, in Bethlehem , said that he phoned his counterpart in Gush Atzion in order to intervene in the situation.
Both the father and his son filed a complaint, but they said that they do not expect anything to happen. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think that the Israelis will investigate the issue and bring Ã¢â‚¬Å“justice. All what we want is to make sure this does not happen to others, we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want others to experience what we went throughÃ¢â‚¬Â¦humiliation and abuse.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The border guard has said that Ã¢â‚¬Å“this issue is under investigationÃ¢â‚¬Â.
The family has also filed a complaint with the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories , BÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Tselem, which in return filed a complaint with the Investigation department of the Israeli Ministry of Justice.