Child and Youth Arrested During Night Raid

25 September 2012

On Monday 24th of September two Beit Ommar residents, Mohammed Abu Hashem (16) and Tarik Abu Maria (18), were arrested in a night raid by the Israeli occupation forces.

Mohammed’s father, Ahmed Abu Hashem, got a call from a neighbour at 02.30 a.m. saying that about fifty soldiers were heading in the direction of Ahmed’s house. The force left the military vehicles in a close by street, possibly to make sure none of the family members got away. When the occupation forces came to Ahmed’s house they started cutting the fence.

Two high ranked officers supported by a group of soldiers approached the front of Abu Hashem’s family home, while the rest of the soldiers surrounded the house. The officers shouted at Ahmed to open the door. Ahmed agreed to do so after he had dressed. The whole family woke up, got dressed and went downstairs. When Ahmed opened the front door the officers said they wanted to talk to him. Ahmed’s daughter-in-law passed out due to fear.

Mohammed Abu Hashem

The family was ordered to get out of the house while the occupation forces searched it, even though Ahmed complained claiming that the youngest children were afraid. Ahmed pointed out that it is illegal to search the house without letting him observe. He tells PSP that he feared the soldiers would steal from him while searching. The soldiers refused, and Ahmed then asked if he could get some water and medicine for his sick wife. He entered the house and stayed with the soldiers for twenty minutes. The soldiers forbade Ahmed to film or take pictures while they were searching the house. During the search the soldiers caused a lot of disorder and several belongings were damaged.

After the search Ahmed joined the rest of the family outside and the whole family was ordered to show their IDs. Thaer (24) does not have an ID because he did not get it back last time he was released from prison. At first the officers refused to believe him but they accepted the explanation when Thaer was able to provide papers from his release. The officers also got it confirmed by calling the military office.

The soldiers then turned to Ahmed and asked where Emad (22), the second oldest son, was. Ahmed told them that he is already imprisoned by the occupation forces. The officer confirmed the information by calling the military office. Yousuf (19), next son in line, were in the same situation as Thaer, thus the officers had to call the military office again.

Ahmed’s son Mohammed (16) does not have his own ID due to his young age and therefore the officers wanted to separate the boy from the rest of his family. When Mohammed did not agree three soldiers grabbed him by his shoulders and neck and pushed him up against a tree. Mohammed’s family reacted by shouting at the soldiers to stop this awful treatment and his mother started crying. As this drew unwanted attention from the neighbourhood the officers agreed to not separate them.

Mohammed's mother, Hamda Abu Hashem, heartbroken.

The occupation forces accused Mohammed of using a sling shot and of participating in peaceful demonstrations, therefore they wanted to bring him to Gush Ezion for interrogation. The officers claimed they have pictures of him in both situations.

One and a half hour after storming the family home the occupation forces left with Mohammed. Neighbours threw stones at the soldiers who answered with tear gas and sound grenades. Despite his young age this is Mohammed’s third time in prison.

During the same raid Mohammed’s cousin and neighbour, Tarik Abu Maria, was arrested. He is 18 years old and this is his second time in prison. The officers told Tarik’s family that he will stay in Gush Ezion at least until the court meeting for Mohammed and Tarik which is scheduled to be Thursday 27th of September.

Monday morning Ahmed got a phone call saying Mohammed was to be transferred from Gush Ezion to Ofer prison outside Ramallah.