Members of a Palestinian family revealed shocking details of assault and humiliation by Israeli occupation forces following a raid on their home in the town of Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem.
During the assault which happened at dawn on Thursday, Israeli forces “used electric shocks against the Dari family” as well as “beating, kicking, slapping and cursing”, according to testimonies given by family members to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
The family said Israeli forces stormed their house and brutally assaulted two of their sons, 13-year-old minor Mahad Dari and his 18-year-old brother Muhammad Dari, before taking them into custody for several hours in a police station in West Jerusalem. The two were not even allowed to wear their shoes and winter clothes despite the cold and rainy weather, the family said.
“They [the Israeli police] stormed the house and beat everyone brutally and used electric guns against anyone who objected. We were blindfolded, slapped and kicked,” Mahad Dari recounted.
“They handcuffed me and my brother and forced us to kneel down and kicked us when we fell on the ground. They did not treat us as human beings.”
For his part, Marwan Dari, the boy’s father, said he was verbally abused and sustained many injuries, including losing his teeth due to beatings by Israeli forces while trying to protect his two sons.
Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, a member of the Issawiya Defense Committee, told the town of Issawiya has been witnessing almost daily incursions for more than two years by the Israeli police, along with arrests, beatings, and the firing of tear gas canisters in the middle of the crowded Palestinian homes.
“Since the start of the campaign at the end of 2018, one martyr has fallen, and 250 injuries have been recorded that include eye-gouging”, Abu al-Hummus said, adding that 1,450 people have also been arrested and women and children terrorized and beaten during the same period.
Comparing the situation in Issawiya to a “small Gaza”, Abu Al-Hummus said Israeli police deliberately fire tear gas canisters in residential areas “without paying attention to the negative health effects, especially in light of the spread of the coronavirus”.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the incident in a press release and held the Israeli authorities fully responsible for the violations which amounted to “war crimes and crimes against humanity”.
The Israeli police has denied the accusations by the Dari family, saying it was “filled with inaccuracies to the point of completely distorting reality,” Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
“The family are the ones who tried to obstruct the arrest, using violence and threats. The Border Police officers acted at the scene to create a buffer between the family and the investigators,” it added.