How the Shabak Use the Children of Palestine

Ed. Note:  The following is a report from Bi’lin resident Yasser Awad Yasin on his  interrogation by Israeli security forces.
My name is Yasser Awad Yasin.  I am 27 years old and I’m from the village of Bil’in. I’m married and I have two sons and one daughter.
The Shabak (Israeli security ) had called me on the phone and told me to go to their office.  I didn’t go, so the army raided my house.  I was sleeping with my wife and children when they woke us all up.  I asked them what they were doing because I hadn’t done anything. They asked me for my ID and they told me to go to the Shabak offices the next day. I asked them why they didn’t arrest me now and then the soldiers gave me papers ordering me to go for questioning. 
When I went there, first they strip-searched me and asked if I have any weapons.  I told them I have a packet of food and they took it off me.  Then they took me to the  head of the Shabak who told me many things about myself and my family to make me scared and to make me believe that they know everything.  He  told me they knew I have a son who has kidney problems and  ” we wanted you to come here to help you. 
You can send him to hospital in Israel and we can make sure he gets all the help he needs. I understand your situation because I also have children and I love them.”  When I heard this I told him I have two sons who are sick, not one.  He asked me what the problem is with the second child and I told him he has heart problems. He asked me which hospital he goes to and I told him the hospital in Ramallah.  “Why don’t you send him to an Israeli hospital where he can get better treatment?  We can help you to arrange that.” 
Then I understood that he would want something in return for this offer and he said we can do anything for you if you help us and work with us in Shabak.  I told him that the treatment was OK there and he doesn’t need to go to an Israeli hospital. He replied that my son may die if he doesn’t get the best treatment, in order to make me scared. 
 But I told him, “If he dies it will be because of your weapons and your gas every Friday.  I live near the Wall and we have to leave our home every Friday to protect the children from these things, otherwise they may die.”  Then he started in a different way.  He asked me if I have a house and maybe I need money.  I told him I have a house and a job and I don’t need help from anybody. 
After that he returned to the problem of my son who needs treatment in Israel because he knew that I have a real problem there and this was the best way to get my cooperation to be an informer against my own people.  He asked what I would do if they refused to give him permission to go through the checkpoint to take my son to the hospital and I said that his mother could accompany him.  “And what if we refuse to give her a permit?”
 I replied that his grandmother would go.  “And what if we refuse his grandmother?”  I said I will take him to Jordan.  “And what if we stop him at the border?”  I replied “I will take him to Ramallah – and may God help us”
Arrests and eviction orders in Sheikh Jarrah


By Noam Sheizaf, reprinted from his Promised Land blog with permission.
Jerusalem – about 200 people took part in the weekly protest against the Jewish colonization of Sheikh Jerrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Among them were New Israel Fund President Naomi Hazan, former Knesset speaker Avrum Burg, and author David Grossman.
During the protest, several activists, among them Grossman, marched near the area of the four houses already occupied by settlers. Four protesters were arrested. Throughout the rest of the demonstration activists occasionally tried to break into the closed area and were pushed back, somewhat violently, by police and border police forces.
There have been numerous arrests of protesters in recent weeks in Sheikh Jarrah. Two weeks agothe Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Hagai El-Ad, was also arrested, only to be released without charges as well. the police arrested one of the protest organizers on Friday evening at his home. He was later released without charges, after the police failed to present any evidence against him. In a different incident the head of
A few days ago, two more Palestinian families received eviction orders from their houses in Shikh Jerrah. It is not clear when the police will try to actually force the families out, so peace activists are trying to keep a 24/7 presence in the neighborhood.
Sheikh Jerrah is a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The Palestinians in the disputed territory are refugees from Jaffa, who fled there during the war of independence (1947-1949). An Israeli court declared the land they settled on as belonging to Jews prior to the war, and ordered their evacuation. The absurdity is that according to the same legal principle, those refugees should be allowed back to Jaffa – something Israel would never allow.
Without anywhere to go, the families evicted from their houses in Sheikh Jarrah are living in tents on private Palestinian land near their old homes. They are subject to constant harassment by both settlers and representatives of the municipality of Jerusalem, who even fined them for erecting their tents in the area
You can help the protest in Sheikh Jerrah: If you are in Israel, the most important thing is to simply come here. The weekly demonstrations keep media attention on the neighborhood and make further evacuations more difficult to carry out. You can find details on the weekly protest here, or on this Facebook page.
If you don’t live in Israel, you can show your support by making a donation, as legal costs for the activists are mounting rapidly. More details here.


Finally, I want to draw your attention to an interesting debate regarding Jerusalem which started between me and one of the writers on It began after I posted a reply to an article which praised unilateral steps taken by Israel in Old Jerusalem.
Just before leaving to Sheikh Jerrah today, I saw that I got my reply on For some reason, the anonymous author was offended that I chose to post my comments on my blog rather than his; this clearly wasn’t my intention. I simply think that it is a better way to conduct this kind of debates and to invite more people to take part in them.
Anyway, I urge you to read today’s article in, as it represent some of the common rationalizations – as well as rhetoric – regarding Israel’s actions in East Jerusalem. Hopefully, I will post my answer here sometime next week.

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