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Abuse and degradation at a military checkpoint: the case of DT
documents: 0  |  Updates: 0 On April 21, 1994, just before noon, DT arrived at the Beit Iksa checkpoint. He was on route, by taxi, to East Jerusalem for a scheduled hospital treatment. DT, who lives near Ramallah, suffers from a disability in both legs caused by polio, and in one arm, caused by a clash with the military in 1989. He did not have a permit to enter Israel at the time, but to the demand of the checkpoint guards - three reservists and one border police officer - DT presented his identity card and documents showing he was being regularly treated in al-Maqassed hospital in East Jerusalem. After a few minutes, the border police officer forced DT out of the taxi, made him sit on a rock by the checkpoint and ordered the taxi to drive off. DT requested the soldiers not to leave him out in the sun as it was scorching hot. The border police officer reacted by kicking him in the abdomen, and ordered him to stay put. After being held in this manner, exposed to the sun, for two hours, DT asked for a drink of water. The border police officer came up to him with a water bottle, and emptied it out on the ground in front of DT. The torments did not stop with that: the soldiers then splashed ice water on DT's face, beat him all over his body, spat at him, cursed him and among the rest, told him "you are going to die here". After his long hours in the sun, DT fainted and was taken to hospital.

Three days later, DT filed a complaint at the Ramallah police station and contacted HaMoked. HaMoked appealed to the Police Investigation Unit (PIU) and to the Military Advocate General (MAG), in a demand to investigate the incident and charge those responsible. Six months later, HaMoked received a brief notice from the police, stating the case was closed for lack of evidence. The military inquiry, which was conducted simultaneously, lasted some 18 months, only to be closed as well, with no indictments or conclusions.

Given that additional testimonies of eye witnesses to the event were later gathered, HaMoked requested the MAG reexamine the case material – but met only unreasonable delays. Thus, in January 1998, HaMoked filed a damages claim due to bodily injuries on DT's behalf. After lengthy negotiations, the parties reached a settlement, whereby the state paid DT the sum of NIS 7,000, this, more than six years after he was beaten and humiliated by the soldiers at the checkpoint. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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