Many remain unaware of Israeli soldiers’ behavior against Palestinian citizens at checkpoints in the West Bank, the racial slurs, the torturous behavior and humiliation.



This is the story, captured by a camera on a mobile telephone, of one out of thousands that occurred at a military barrier imposed to stop Palestinian traffic between Ramallah and Al Ram, near Ein Yabrud Village.

A northwestern West Bank merchant from Qalqilia City, Osama Hamdan, travels daily to distribute construction equipment. He told PNN Saturday that he took photos from his mobile phone after one too many times of watching torturous scenes at checkpoints occupied by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. The photos illustrate Israeli soldiers breaking into a shared taxi and dealing violently with the people inside.

{mosimage}Hamdan began his story. “A few days ago I was in the truck heading for Al Ram City via the route which passes from outside Ramallah. Suddenly there was a military barrier in the middle of the road, with a long line of traffic. Just as suddenly Israeli soldiers turned their attention to a public vehicle which I was directly behind.”

He continued, “And immediately I took out my mobile phone and began photographing what was a horrible view. The occupation soldiers made a man around 30 years old completely remove his clothes, piece by piece. It was cold outside and raining lightly. And this was such a painful thing, with hundreds of people in tens of detained cars around to see.”

Hamdan added, “The passengers in the taxi who were with the man, among them an elderly Sheikh, was forced to stand aside. The man had to put all of his clothes on the road, and then was forced to raise his hands in the air.”

“This painful scene continued for about an hour until they let some of us pass, but leaving the passengers of the vehicle and the citizen with his loins exposed awaiting mercy to come from the sky.”

And about his feeling while photographing, Hamdan said, “I made certain that the soldiers didn’t see me because I feared they would confiscate the mobile, and I continued recording with the video and still pictures, with the aim of exposing what actually happens at these military barriers.”

Hamdan clarified, “These pictures will remain with me because they embody the extent of the injustice that is imposed on each Palestinian that passes through a military checkpoint and watches the torturous scenes. The soldiers excel at humiliating passengers and forcing them to obey until they are allowed passage.”

There are 700 Israeli military checkpoints throughout the West Bank, put in place to hinder the movement of Palestinians between their own cities, villages, and refugee camps.