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Israeli Soldiers Arbitrarily Arrest Palestinian with Intellectual Disabilities
17-23 June - Ref.:116/2013
28، Jun 2013

Over the past week, the Israeli military has carried out violent raids throughout the West Bank, resulting in the arbitrary arrest of at least 20 Palestinians, including three minors in ‘Azzoun, Qalqiliya governorate.

Notably, on 19 June 2013, Israeli forces raided al-'Aroub refugee camp, which is located approximately 11 kilometres north of Hebron city, and arrested a Palestinian man with intellectual disabilities. 

Adam Hilmi Abu-Ghazi – Al-'Aroub Refugee Camp – Hebron Governorate

Adam_Abu_Ghazi_picture_WF_27_2013Ibrahim Hilmi Abu-Ghazi, 30, lives on the top floor of a three-storey building in al-‘Aroub refugee camp, along with his extended family. On 19 June, at around 3:00 am, while Ibrahim was on the phone with his wife, who was working a night shift at al-Mizan hospital in Hebron, he heard a noise and saw a light, both coming from the street outside his building.

From the window of his apartment, Ibrahim spotted eight Israeli soldiers standing by the door that leads into his building, whispering to each other. He then saw the soldiers enter the building and, a few minutes later, he heard screams from his mother and siblings, who live on the second floor. He turned on the lights in the stairway and went downstairs to his parents’ apartment, where he saw three Israeli soldiers standing in front of his parents’ door. One of the soldiers held Ibrahim by the neck and asked him what he was doing there, to which Ibrahim responded that the building belonged to his family and that he lived upstairs. The soldier then permitted him to enter his parents’ apartment.

Once inside, Ibrahim saw that nine of his family members, including two children, were crammed into the corner of one of the rooms. A soldier ordered Ibrahim to take his family members upstairs to his apartment. While some of the family members went upstairs, Ibrahim's brother, Adam, 21, was frightened and began to cling to his mother’s neck. Ibrahim told the Israeli soldier in charge that his brother had intellectual disabilities. Regardless, the soldier grabbed Adam by the shirt and punched him in the face. Ibrahim tried to stop the soldier from hitting his brother by grabbing him by the hand, but was prevented from doing so by the other soldiers in the room. At that point, one of the Israeli soldiers demanded Adam’s identity card, which his mother handed over. After checking Adam's identity card, the soldier ordered Ibrahim's mother to follow the rest of the family upstairs. Adam was told to remain in the apartment and consequently he started to panic and scream: ‘Don’t take me, don’t take me! I didn’t do anything!’ Ibrahim and his mother were pushed inside one of the rooms within the apartment, where two Israeli soldiers prevented them from reaching Adam.

A few minutes later, several soldiers dragged Adam out of the apartment. From a window in the room where Ibrahim was being held with his mother, he could see Adam sitting on the building’s staircase and refusing to move. The Israeli soldiers began to hit him all over his body with batons before taking him out of the main entrance of the building onto the street. From another window in the room, Ibrahim then saw that Adam was being forced to sit on the pavement across the street and was still shouting for his brothers' help. Meanwhile, the soldiers continued to beat him with their batons. When the two soldiers that were guarding Ibrahim and his mother left the building and withdrew from the area, Ibrahim went down to the street, only to find that the soldiers had taken Adam with them. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 8774/2013)

According to data collected by Al-Haq, Adam was taken to Kufr Etzion Israeli military camp, located two kilometres to the north of al-‘Aroub refugee camp, where he was detained for one night. The following day at around 7:00 pm, a taxi driver from the al-'Aroub refugee camp found Adam walking along a road barefoot with bruises all over his body.

Al-Haq expresses its concern at the high number of arrests carried out by the Israeli military against Palestinians in the space of one week and condemns the arbitrary and violent nature of Adam’s arrest. All persons deprived of their liberty must be treated with humanity and respect for their dignity, and special consideration must be afforded to people with intellectual disabilities. Al-Haq calls upon Israel to stop its illegal practices of violently raiding Palestinian houses and arbitrarily arresting Palestinian people and reiterates that Israel must strictly abide by its legal obligations under international law, including human rights law.