Thursday, December 22, 2005

Shomron's tearful accusations

Young Shomron settlers have sent an open letter with video to Rabbis and other community leaders complaining that they were both: beaten by the police and condemned by their own leaders:

Arutz Sheva:

This past Oct. 26, the day after the Sukkot holiday, hundreds of youths from around the country attempted to build five new neighborhoods in the Yesha (Judea and Samaria) communities of Efrat, Kedumim, Elon Moreh, Kiryat Arba and Maon. "Expansion in Place of Destruction" - har'havah bimkom hah'ravah - was the motto of the new initiative, in the wake of the destruction wrought upon Gush Katif and northern Samaria just two months earlier.
In at least one of the cases - in the new outpost near Kedumim, in the Shomron (Samaria) - the police and army forces employed particularly strong violence in order to evacuate the youth. The idealistic teenagers later related accounts of girls being dragged by their hair across rocky ground, punches to the ribs and face, and more. "But not only were they physically beaten," says Orit Strook of Hevron, considered the leading human rights activist of the nationalist right-wing camp, "they felt that they were beaten a second time when they were widely condemned by their own rabbis, MKs and public figures, who did not bother to first find out the entire story."
The story that was widely publicized in the media at the time was that the youths had been violent towards the security forces.
...now they have put together a very powerful movie in Hebrew, but with footage of the violent evacuation] that shows exactly what they went through..
The movie was sent, on a disk, to some 50 leading rabbis and Knesset Members, with an accompanying letter written by the youths explaining the double disappointment they felt - from the physical violence, and the condemnations they received.
Excerpts from various people who appear in the movie:"We held tight to each other... the police tried to neutralize each of us by holding the groin and choking; one policemen choked me for about 15 seconds while holding me in the groin... They laughed and joked as if they enjoyed using the force... Two policemen dragged a girl by her ponytail - without holding her in any other way, across the ground and the rocks, and she was really in pain; she cried out, 'Stop, I'll go,' but they kept on; I came over and tried to help her, one policeman took me and pushed me against the wall, twisted my arm and pushed my face up, I cried and told him he was breaking my arm, and he put his face very close to mine and threatened me... When there were no cameras around, they used extreme violence; when there were cameras, they used only moderate violence... I saw them pick up girls and throw them and drag them, and then the girls would fall down and couldn't walk, so the police would kick them and pick them up and throw them down... I saw them drag my sister out by her leg, over the rocks and ground, her skin and back was all scratched up...
posted by Y.W. Editor
at 1:49 PM

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