Border Police attacking Arab citizens in the Arab village Kafr Qasem, September 11, 2003
Testimony of Shadi Saleh ‘Amer, Aged 27, Kafr Qasem
On Thursday, September 11, 2003, Hamza Mamoun ‘Amer (hereinafter “Hamza”), Mohammed Yousef Sarsour (hereinafter “Mohammed”) and myself were at our place of work at a car repair shop owned by my father and his partners. At approximately 13:00, we began to close the shop (because the car shops close early on Thursdays), and we were about to go home. Suddenly a Border Police jeep arrived and parked opposite the shop. The soldiers came in through the small door. One of the soldiers asked us, “Where is the four-wheeler?” I asked him, “What four-wheeler?” and he replied: “You know what four-wheeler” and slapped my face. I gave him my wallet and identity card. He took an amount of money (NIS 3,500) that was in the wallet, and gave my identity card to another soldier who was with him. I said to the soldier: “Check it out, we’re Israelis,” and he replied: “No, you’re a sonofab**ch.”
Suddenly he pulled me outside. Together with two other soldiers who were outside, they began to hit me with batons on all parts of my body. Hamza came out and said: “What are you doing? Why are you hitting him?” One of the soldiers hit him on the head with a baton. Hamza went back into the shop and tried to escape through the back door. The soldier who had beaten him chased him and began to fire live ammunition at him. I pushed the soldiers away from me and began to run toward the street, so that someone could help me.
As I ran away I saw the soldiers begin to fire live ammunition at me, so I stopped because I was very scared. All the soldiers approached me. One of them pushed me over on the ground with his gun. The others trampled on my hands and tied them with plastic handcuffs. They put me into the jeep and kept on beating me on all parts of my body. One of the soldiers also wanted to tie my legs, but he couldn’t find anything to use. Then they told me that I was under arrest. I asked one of the soldiers who was beating me to stop, because my head was bleeding badly, but he threatened to kill me if I moved.
In the meantime the jeep began to chase after Mohammed, who had run away. I heard intensive shooting with live ammunition. During the chase, the jeep got stuck in the mud. Then the driver got out and began to chase Mohammed on foot, shooting at him. Later the soldiers came back [in the jeep] to the shop “Safi’s Spare Parts.” They caught Hamza here and beat him severely on all parts of his body. Yousef Mohammed Sarsour (hereinafter “Yousef”), Mohammed’s father, arrived, and said to the soldiers: “What are you doing? You’re killing him.”
My father, Saleh Suleiman ‘Amer (hereinafter “Saleh”) arrived on the scene and held me. I heard one of the soldiers curse him. A few seconds later I heard gunfire, and then I saw that my father had been shot and injured. I got out of the jeep and one of the soldiers beat me with a baton and put his rifle to my neck. I lay on the ground next to my father.
Later a police car arrived and the soldiers moved away from us. I stood up and approached the police car, and said to one of the police officers “They shot my father.” But the policeman answered: “That doesn’t interest me.” The policeman got out of the car and approached my father, and then took his gun out and shot at me.
Then a large number of police arrived on the scene. I ran away and the police officers began to chase after me, firing at me. Eventually they caught me. Later they began to beat me badly until I lost consciousness. I heard one of the police officers say, “I think he’s dead, let’s go.”
After they went, I got up and stopped a car that was passing by. I asked them to take me to the concrete factory. But I passed out again, and they called for an ambulance to take me to hospital. At hospital a police officer told me that I was under arrest.