Any comments that I make on this video are superfluous. A Palestinian man sitting in a traffic queue at a checkpoint was viciously attacked, dragged from his car and beaten up badly enough to require hospital treatment for 6 days. His mother was also abused.
The pretext was a search for weapons but the real reason was the racist delight in singling out a Palestinian who was enjoying listening to his music in the comfort of his car. That was his real crime.
Will the police responsible be prosecuted and punished? Don’t be silly. Attacks on Palestinians are not a crime, except in the technical sense. Imagine that this had happened to a Jewish settler and what the reaction would be. This is Zionism, red in tooth and claw and this is what Israel’s apologists, such as pitiful Keir Starmer, the Zionist ‘without qualification’ and Pollard’s Jewish Chronicle defends.
It is also what Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis was about. The Israeli government, which presides over the impunity of Israeli Police, contains the parties of the Zionist ‘left’ – Meretz and the Israeli Labor Party. Who was in the driving seat of the false ‘anti-Semitism’ smears if not the Jewish Labour Movement which describes the ILP as its ‘sister party’.
How is it that the Labour Party, that at least formally, claims to be a party of anti-racism, can tolerate the ‘sister party’ of an Israeli party which is part of a government that presides over Israel’s apartheid occupation of the West Bank, as an affiliated socialist society?
As is always the case when there is video evidence, the Israeli Police version consists of a tissue of lies, such as that Marwan refused to get out of his car or that he refused to stop his car when asked. £5,000 damage has been done to his car. It is unlikely that the criminals who did this will pay a penny of compensation nor will they be disciplined. It is even more unlikely that the Israeli state will be required to pay compensation for the attack on Marwan.
Instead Israel has outlawed 6 human rights organisations in the West Bank to prevent them documenting similar Israeli human rights outrages. The pretext being ‘terrorism’ of course when the real terrorists were in uniform.
The Quisling PA of Abbas is hardly likely to take this up with Israel or even make its collaboration with Israel contingent on making amends. After all it is equally guilty of human rights abuses.
Joe Biden will continue to fund the Israeli state in the knowledge that this kind of repression will continue. Kamallah Harris, the Uncle Tom who is his Vice-President, will continue to claim that Israel’s critics are motivated by ‘anti-Semitism’. And why not? After all they have waged a drone war in Afghanistan and Pakistan for years. This includes killing 10 people including 7 children in a recent attack in Kabul.
Below is an article in Israel’s Ha’aretz by Gideon Levy, who as usual, brilliantly sums up what happened.
Marwan al-Husseini and his mother Raisa were traveling to see relatives when undercover police stopped their car and dragged them from it violently. The officers beat Marwan and strip-searched Raisa before releasing them. The police later lied about what happened – but the incident was caught on video.
Just watch the video. You’ll be stunned. A man sits at the wheel of his car, wearing a white T-shirt and dark sunglasses. Cellphone earphones dangle from his face; he’s listening to Arabic music. He’s wearing a seat belt, his car is barely progressing and is trailed by a line of other vehicles trails. They are stuck in a traffic jam at a security checkpoint. After a moment, he puts a corona mask on his face. He’s relaxed, one hand leaning on the window of the car. Cars pass in the opposite direction, while his moves at snail’s pace. The music plays loudly. He adjusts the mask.
Suddenly there are loud voices. “Stop the car!” “Get out!” The shouts in Hebrew and Arabic create the impression of an approaching storm. Everything happens fast. While he still seems to be wondering what’s going on, a baton is already smashing the window of his car. The man tries to protect his head with his hands. Someone who looks to be a security guard opens the back door, thrusts himself into the car and sits in the back seat shouting. The man is frightened; the guard, wearing blue rubber gloves but no uniform, grabs his neck from behind. The driver’s elderly mother, sitting in the passenger seat up front, is not captured in the footage taken by the car’s web camera. Another guard opens the driver’s door, unfastens the seat belt and forcibly drags him out of the car. The shouting does not stop. A very dangerous criminal has apparently been captured.
The music continues to play, the driver’s door remains open, the webcam keeps recording. Cars pass by in the opposite direction. One armed man – it later turns out that he and all the others were police officers in civilian clothes – opens one of the back doors of the car, while his comrades continue to yell and beat the driver who’s been pulled out of the car, and breaking the window next to the driver’s seat.
This must be a case of a so-called ticking bomb that must be defused at all costs. The man shouts and the guards continue to kick and beat him, guns visible in their holsters. There are four or five attackers at first, then more join in. The camera manages to catch what’s happening through the broken window; someone else is seen being dragged out. The rear door slams shut. An elderly woman in a head scarf is seen screaming, near the beaten man on the ground. The volume of the music in the car increases dramatically, as if cued by the film’s director. The gunmen can be seen going back and forth. Probably a serious incident. The video cuts.
This is what happened on Tuesday, October 12, around 1 P.M. Marwan al-Husseini, 38, and his mother Raisa, 65, residents of Hebron, were on their way to visit family in the village of Al-Azariya, several kilometers east of Jerusalem. When they passed by the village of Al-Zaim en route, they encountered a checkpoint and the traffic slowed their car down. The video footage obtained by B’Tselem was taken by Marwan, who was streaming with Facebook Live from the car. He wanted to record himself on an outing with his mother, as he occasionally does, and found himself documenting a wild kidnapping in broad daylight, in real time. The armed security personnel who attacked him were Israeli police officers who were in civilian clothes.
At the Husseini home, in the western part of Hebron, emotions are still running high when we visit this week, and there is an air of mourning. Husseini, a stocky man, is surrounded by his equally stocky brothers and some friends. He had worked for years in Israel and now works as a taxi driver in the West Bank. His wife is pregnant with their first child. On that Tuesday, they were going to visit his mother’s sister in Facebook Live Anata, a few kilometers northeast of Jerusalem. En route, about 40 meters before the traffic circle near the entrance to the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, he noticed police vehicles on both sides of the road. He recalls hurriedly putting on his mask, lest the police fine him. It never occurred to him that they were lurking in wait – for him. There were three civilian cars before him in the line. He recalls being pulled violently out of the car without any explanation and being beaten, even after he was knocked to the ground. He says he lost consciousness and woke up in a van that took him to a police station at the entrance to Ma’aleh Adumim. He lost consciousness again, regaining it intermittently. In the van, he recalls, the officers continued to jab at him with their elbows. They did not utter a word about why he was being detained.
Husseini says his mother panicked and had difficulty removing her seat belt; a female officer dragged her out of their car and let her fall to the ground. Raisa was taken to the same police station but in a separate vehicle.
The police brought Hussein’s car to the station and dismantled its seats, apparently searching for weapons. He was bleeding and in serious pain after being beaten all over. An Israeli ambulance arrived, a paramedic examined him and left. The officers made him sit on a chair in the hallway. His whole body was aching and he could not sit from the pain, so he lay on the floor. He remembers vomiting twice there, whereupon the officers scolded him, threatening him that if he threw up again, he would be forced to clean up the corridor after himself.
Husseini begged the police to arrange for an ambulance to take him to the hospital. One of them told him: “If you want an ambulance, you will have to pay 4,000 shekels [$1,300] for it,” Marwan says he replied: “I will pay 10,000 shekels, just get me to a hospital.”
When he asked about his mother, a door opened to one of the rooms and he saw her. She was trembling all over. A few days later, Raisa told Musa Abu Hashhash, a field researcher for the B’Tselem Israeli human rights organization, that three female officers had forced her to strip naked for a body search – it’s not clear for what reason. Her son kept crying out and begging for an ambulance. The officers forbade them to exchange a word.
So it was that Husseini was lying in pain on the station floor for about five hours, until about 10 P.M. When he asked why he and his mother were being detained, an officer said: “Because you did not stop for the police when they told you to do so.” Marwan replied, “When you stopped me the car was not in motion” – proof of which can be seen in the video footage from his webcam.
He tells us now that his entire interrogation boiled down to one question, asked by one of the officers in the hallway: “Where is your weapon?” To which Husseini replied, “You have my car, and you can find any weapon that’s there with ease.” Of course, he had no idea what weapon they were talking about.
Shortly after 10 P.M., Husseini was asked if they had any relatives in the area who could come and take him and his mother home, but he demanded first to be taken to the hospital. He says the officers aggressively forced him out of the station and into the yard, where he was shocked to see his dismantled car.
“Take your car and drive off,” police ordered.
“How do you expect me to drive a broken car?” he asked.
Then Husseini’s cellphone rang. Anxious relatives had been searching for him and his mother throughout the afternoon and evening, but it was only now that the officers guarding him allowed him to answer. This time, when he answered, it was his brother Bader, a bearded young man, on the line; Bader is now sitting with us. Marwan told him what happened and asked for someone to come and collect him and their mother.
The wife of one of the Husseinis’ cousins who lives nearby, drove to pick them, followed by Bader and another brother, Ibrahim, who lives in Jericho. They took Marwan and his mother to Hebron-Alia Hospital and had the car towed to Hebron.
Raisa told B’Tselem’s Abu Hashhash that during her arrest she wet herself out of anxiety; she has diabetes and high blood pressure. She is now seated with us in the yard of her house, silent and surrounded by her children and grandchildren. The signs of shock are still evident. “I’m exhausted,” she tells us.
She had been released from the hospital at 4 A.M. on October 12, extremely shaken up but not injured.
Marwan ended up being hospitalized for six days; he required surgery for injuries to his groin, from the kicks he received from the police. He shows us some images of his bruises, which are hard to look at. Even now he looks battered and broken; his gait is slow and his gaze forlorn. He tells us that he had to pay 20,000 shekels to repair the damage to his car, which is owned by his blind sister-in-law, whom he drives around.
The Israel Police provided this statement regarding the incident: “As part of an operational activity against weapons offenses, the arrest of a suspect was carried out near al-Azaryia. During the arrest, said suspect refused to open the vehicle door and out of concern that he would conceal evidence or harm the police officers, the latter were forced to break into the vehicle and arrest him. The suspect along with another passenger who was in the vehicle were taken to the police station and at the end of the investigation and the search, they were released.”
The video – which was due to be passed on to the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department – proves, as would a thousand witnesses, that the police’s claim that Marwan al-Husseini refused to stop his car and open the door when asked is a complete lie. It also clearly shows the officers’ brutal violence. Violence that has resulted in the injury of a yet another person innocent of any crime, even according to the police themselves.