Spotlight highlights Checkpoint events characteristic of the policy of the occupation: the systematic repudiation of basic human rights in the occupied territories. For Palestinians, reality is a complicated tangle of problems (survival in the everyday, education, health, making a living…) that cannot be solved because the Israeli occupation is conducted by enforcing countless inhuman bans. The Spotlights rely on collections of relevant reports from the field.
The Occupation Corrupts (2)
Observers: Meky S, Noa P (reporting)
15:00 Shouting can be heard. By the isolation lockup we discern A. (apparently the checkpoint commander), his back to us, and a Palestinian facing us, his back pushed against the concrete wall. The Palestinian is saying to the soldier: "I didn’t make you any problems whatsoever!" And the soldier – raises the cuffs he holds and whips the man’s hands! Red welts cover the hands.
I. from the DCO (District Coordinating Office) arrives quickly and talks with the man. Alongside him, soldier A. does nothing but talk while watching the young man.
I. moves aside to talk on the phone with Hyman (in DCO hq). A. kicks the Palestinian’s legs.
The Palestinian says in a normal voice, not begging nor retreating: "Don’t do that! Don’t do that again!"
After a few minutes’ debate the three enter the lockup. As they move, a slogan is revealed: "Till When?"
The DCO representative emerges and groans of pain can be heard. Apparently A. is still beating the man, this time unseen. We are witnesses only to the sounds.
A. comes out and locks the door behind him.
Two minutes later he returns there to talk to his prisoner through the locked door.
Then A. walks over to a water container, fills two bottles and gives them to the soldiers at the checking stations. A good commander, no doubt, taking care of his subordinates.
I approach the lockup from the side, exploiting A.’s absence, and ask the man his name and the details of the occurrence.
"My name is M. I was in line for checking. I’m a taxi driver. Another driver bypassed and took my turn, so I walked up and told him it’s my turn. A. came over and told me to go to the jora (the detention pen) and to give him my hawiya (ID card) and muftach (keys). I didn’t give him the muftach, but told him they were in the car. He shoved me then started to hit me. I want to submit a complaint..."
We left at 16:00, taking his phone number and that of the DCO representative, who promised to update us by phone on the developments... At 18:40 we received the happy news that M. was out of the isolation lockup and allowed to go home.
In the parking lot, I., the owner of the plant pots on the road divider, approached us. He wanted to know what had happened to Eiman – why had he been ordered to remove his stand, when Eiman himself had given the permission to erect it there two months ago.
End of my age of innocence... [L]