A resident of Aida Refugee Camp one of thousands Palestinians with
stories of abuse endured in Israeli prison. Mahmoud Ahmed Abu Salem
testified under oath to a Palestinian Prisoner Society lawyer that he
was subjected to severe beatings at the hands of Israeli soldiers.
In the southern West Bank Israeli forces arrested 26 year old ambulance driver Abu Salem who was transporting an elderly man and his son to Hebron. An Israeli jeep followed the ambulance and told him to turn off the motor.
They took his keys and identification before releasing the passengers. Israeli soldiers searched the ambulance and upon not finding anything controversial, questioned Abu Salem as to why he had scissors and gauze. The driver responded that they were part of the standard equipment and must be with the driver of the vehicle.
The soldiers began beating the Bethlehem resident and verbally abusing him, but one soldier accidentally hit another, causing more anger and aggression. Blood showered from Abu Salem's head and face, while he was also beaten over his entire body. He tried to cover his face and hit back, but that caused an even more violent attack.
After clamping his hands and legs and blindfolding him, Israeli soldiers threatened to burn Abu Salem's beard which he was wearing long as a Sheikh. He was moved to an unknown area and left for approximately two hours until his blood dried.
The soldiers told Abu Salem to sign a paper stating that he had not been beaten. When Abu Salem refused, Israeli soldiers threatened to continue the beating. He signed.
After Abu Salem signed the paper, Israeli soldiers instructed him to wash his face and body, and to get the blood off of his clothes. He refused and asked to be taken to any place that he could lodge a complaint. At that point he was knocked to the ground and the soldiers poured water over his body and left him. Soon after the military patrol moved and he asked them if he could pray, but the soldiers refused the request. He instead prayed while sitting and experiencing a sharp pain in his back.
The Prisoner Society lawyer who took the deposition said that Abu Salem had marks of beating throughout his body and that he was still suffering back pain from direct blows to the spine. Although Abu Salem had been urinating blood, that has now stopped.
After being transferred to a prison and a military court, Abu Salem was charged with resisting arrest. He is currently in Israeli prison where the Prisoner Society lawyer met with him.