By Amira Hass
A Palestinian who was imprisoned for a week says members of the Border Police beat and abused him for hours, then accused him of attacking one of them. Omar A’laa al-Din, 25, of the West Bank village Ma’sara, was released from prison two days ago. On Thursday, 10 days after a run-in with the Border Police, bruises are clearly visible on his back and leg. He has trouble walking and sitting, and his eyesight has been impaired from blows to his head, he says.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office, for its part, says A’laa al-din tried to attack members of the Border Police during regular inspection work.
A’laa al-din, who studies English and French at Hebron University, was returning by bus from Bethlehem on March 15. At the “container” checkpoint south of Abu Dis, two members of the Border Police boarded the bus. One of them took A’laa al-din’s ID card, and seeing he was from Ma’sara, whose residents demonstrate weekly against the separation fence on their land, ordered him off the bus.
One of the Border Policemen struck him on the left leg twice with his truncheon, he says. A’laa al-din fell and his leg started bleeding. Two other Border Policemen dragged him to a small concrete cell where they beat him on the head, back and face after binding his hands with iron cuffs, he says.
They continued beating him and hurling him against the cell walls for hours. Blood poured from his mouth, his vision blurred and he felt dizzy and cold, he says. He received water half an hour after he asked for it, and when he asked again he received a glass with urine in it.
After midnight he was taken to the Ma’aleh Adumim police station, where he was told that one of the members of the Border Police had filed a complaint that A’laa al-din had attacked him. From there he was taken to Jerusalem’s Russian Compound police station, where he was denied medical treatment.
Later he was taken to Ramle Prison where he was held for five days. He was then taken to the Ofer military base, where a military judge, Lt. Col. Eran Laufman, released him on March 22 on bail of NIS 1,000.