Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

AT-TUWANI RELEASE: Israeli soldiers arrest Palestinian shepherd, assault Palestinian youth

This happened about 4 hours ago. I was with Khalil just a couple hours before he was arrested. My last sight of him before soldiers started chasing him was when he was riding on the hillsides on a donkey with lunch in his hands. He had bread, a bowl of yogurt, and a bowl of salad that he was taking to his brother and his cousin, who were both with the sheep. After eating lunch with them, they were chased by the soldiers back to their village.

23 February, 2010

On Tuesday afternoon, February 23, 2010, Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian shepherd, Khalil Ibrahim Abu Jundiyye, from the village of Tuba.

Abu Jundiyye, 19, was grazing his flock near Tuba when four Israeli soldiers, coming from the nearby Ma'on settlement, chased him and another shepherd back to Tuba. The soldiers aggressively pursued the two shepherds while Tuba families attempted to keep the soldiers away from the shepherds. One soldier head-butted a Palestinian young man as he pleaded for an explanation as to why his brother was being arrested. Another soldier loaded his rifle and pointed it in the air, threatening to shoot, forcing the families to quell their protest.

Once handcuffed, the soldiers quickly led Abu Jundiyye away from the area, threatening arrest for anyone who followed them. Two members of Christian Peacemaker Teams, standing at a distance, saw that the soldiers forced Abu Jundiyye to walk blindfolded on rugged terrain for nearly one kilometer.

An Israeli human rights organization later reported that Abu Jundiyye was taken to Beit Yatir checkpoint near the southern edge of the Green Line, adjacent to Mezadot Yehuda settlement.

Abu Jundiyye remained in custody overnight, but his whereabouts are unknown. According to the Israeli District Coordinating Office, Abu Jundiyye was presumably arrested for assaulting an Israeli soldier. The two Christian Peacemaker Teams members who were present during the incident did not witness Abu Jundiyye assault a soldier. Nor is that charge confirmed in any of their video footage of the incident.

I can't describe how angry these soldiers were at these shepherds, and for no understandable reason at all. The soldier who headbutted one of the young men was raging mad, screaming in Hebrew at the top of his lungs. I will try to get around to cutting a short clip of the video I have, it shows just how crazy they were. It was more or less, Israeli soldiers with raging anger and Palestinian mothers, sisters, and brothers begging for mercy for their loved ones.

Wait and did I mention that I was just sitting on a hillside with these guys, talking about the joys of spring, telling them about my nice time I had in the States; when they were chased, attacked, and arrested by the Israeli army. Khalil is still in jail, we don't know where he is. He has no phone and no money. Last time I saw he was blindfolded and being grabbed around the neck by a soldier. What the hell is wrong with this world.

1 comment:

Brit said...

Did I say "Welcome Back?" Man. Thanks for your updates on this, and I'm glad to hear that he's out of jail...