Beatings and abuse on the Ramin Plain, Summer 2006

Nazmi a-Sheikh, beaten by soldiers at the Sarra checkpoint, receiving medical assistance from the Red Crescent, December 28, 2003. (Eliezer Moav/B’Tselem)

In recent months, B’Tselem has collected many testimonies from Palestinians in the West Bank about abuse by soldiers. A significant number of the testimonies dealt with events that took place in the area referred to as the Ramin Plain. The area has a dirt road that Palestinians use to avoid the checkpoint near the Einav settlement. Recently, the IDF imposed harsh restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the northwest part of the West Bank . As a result, Palestinians have increasingly used dirt roads and pathways.

In their testimonies to B’Tselem, the Palestinians described how the soldiers ambushed them on the dirt road along the Ramin Plain, beat and abused them for hours, and damaged their vehicles.

One of the men who was beaten and abused, Ra’id Salahat, a taxi driver, related in part of his testimony as follows:

“Then the first soldier put a tomato on my head and said, “Now, I am going to hit it. Don’t move.” He picked up his rifle and aimed it at the tomato, from about two meters away. He began to count. When he got to three, I fell to the ground because it was too much for me. I thought he was going to shoot me in the head. He did not fire, but he and the soldier who brought the water kicked me and hit me all over my body with their rifle butts and hands. They beat me for about five minutes…”

B’Tselem wrote to the judge advocate general and demanded that he order a Military Police investigation into the incidents.

Last week, the IDF removed some of the travel restrictions in the area.

Related Links

  • B’Tselem
  • Soldiers severely abuse young Palestinian and take a picture of themselves on his cell phone, Report, B’Tselem (6 September 2006)
  • B’Tselem report leads to indictment of soldiers who abused Palestinians, Report, B’Tselem (20 September 2006)