For six months in 2011 I lived in East Jerusalem, in the neighborhood of Wadi Joz, just adjacent to the Old City, and to Silwan where this boy’s story took place. Silwan has been a Palestinian village for at least 700 years, but it occupies a part of the corridor that the Government of Israel is connecting to the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, to make all of Jerusalem and 1948 Israel, contiguous with West Bank settlements. The Palestinian village of Khan al Ahmar, in the news right now because it is under imminent demolition orders, is also in this corridor. The story of this 13 year-old boy is the story of many children and families in Silwan who I met there, where homes are constantly being demolished to make way for illegal takeover by Israeli settlers.
-Kathy Shapiro, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine
Story of A. S. #ThisIsOccupation
❝At 4 am, we heard a loud knock at the door. We didn’t think they were coming to arrest anyone, we thought they were coming to demolish our house, as we have a pending demolition order.
❝My father called out, asking who it was. The soldiers identified themselves and said they were coming to arrest ‘Hamada’.
❝Without opening the door, my father replied, that they had the wrong house; there was no Hamada here.
❝They told him to open the door, and also told him [to] name his sons… and if he didn’t do it, they would throw tear gas into the house.
❝My father began naming us one by one, and when he came to my name, the soldiers told him to stop. They said that I had been throwing stones, and they wanted to take me away.
❝I don’t know exactly how many… but there must have been at least six jeeps, maybe eight… and it seemed like there were hundreds of them: police, undercover police and special forces.
❝They came in and I was pulled from my bed, they didn’t even let me put my clothes or shoes on… they cuffed my hands, and took me away barefoot, wearing only pajamas.
❝Altogether, we were six kids arrested that morning. They did not let my parents ride with me; by father followed after us…”
❝When we got to the police station, they took me to Room number 4, and someone questioned me… he wanted me to
admit that I had thrown stones that day.
❝At first, I wouldn’t admit to anything. Whenever I looked away, he slapped me. He kept asking me, and I kept denying.
❝He kept blowing cigarette smoke into my eyes. He grabbed my shoulder and squeezed hard, then threw me hard against a wall; my nose began to bleed.
❝I asked for tissue paper to wipe my nose, but he didn’t give me any. Afterwards, someone else did.
❝Then he told me to kneel down; I replied that I only kneel to The Creator. He kicked my right inner thigh.
❝As I sat there, they toasted bread and cheese. They asked if I was hungry, and threw some of the hot cheese on my arm. All along they told me that I had only to admit that I had thrown stones, and they would let me go.
❝In the end, I just wanted to go home, so I admitted to throwing only one stone.
❝“One stone, or more?” they asked, I replied, “no, only one stone.” They asked again, “not even a second stone?” I insisted that it was only one stone.
❝They wanted to know if others had thrown stones with me; I told them I was alone. Finally they took my fingerprints and had me sign some papers — I don’t know what was written there as they were in Hebrew. Afterwards, they let my father take me home.❞
This testimony was included in OCHA’s Humanitarian Montior report | November 2010. Read the full report.
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