Name: Muhab M.
Date of Incident: 21 February 2012
Location: Beit Ummar, Hebron
Nature of Incident: Human shield
On 21 February 2012, a 17-year-old boy from the town of Beit Ummar, in the occupied West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers shortly after 2:00 am, and reports being used as human a shield by soldiers.
“On 21 February 2012, at around 2:00 am, my father woke me up. I was surprised when I opened my eyes to see five Israeli soldiers inside the room. One of them was covering his face with a black mask,” says Muhab. “The officer told me ‘we want you’, so I put on my jacket and shoes. They took me outside and then one of them tied my hands behind my back with a single plastic cord and blindfolded me. He forced me to walk for about 10 metres and then ordered me to stop and lie down on the ground on my stomach. The plastic cord was very tight and painful,” Muhab continues.
Muhab reports that he was then picked up by the shoulders by two soldiers. “One of them hit me with his rifle just below my right eye. It was really painful and left a bruise for a few days,” he says. Muhab was then taken to a military jeep along with his neighbour, Mohammad H. “They put us in the back of the jeep, and at that moment, youths from the town started throwing stones at the jeep and the soldiers. The soldiers then pulled me out by my shirt and forced me to stand in front of them. They did the same to Mohammad. One of them grabbed me from behind, while he was carrying a glass shield. I got hit by a stone in the chest and Mohammad was hit in the knee as well. In the meantime, they were firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters, and the sound was very loud and terrifying. I was very scared and worried I might get hit on the head. The soldiers were shouting and insulting those who were throwing stones in Hebrew and Arabic. They were calling them 'sons of whores,’” Muhab adds.
When the stone-throwing ended, Muhab was placed on the floor of a military jeep with Mohammad. They were transferred to the Etzion interrogation and detention centre, inside the Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion. Muhab reports being beaten and verbally abused by the soldiers during the transfer. After interrogation, Muhab was left standing against a wall whilst still tied and blindfolded for about eight hours. Then he was transferred to Ofer prison, where he was detained with adults. When Muhab appeared in a military court, he found out that he was charged with throwing stones at Israeli cars based on confessions made by other detainees. Muhab was released from prison two months later.
29 May 2012