Palestinian Peddler: Border Police Beat Me

A Palestinian peddler said yesterday that he was beaten by a Border Policeman at the entrance to the Qalandiyah roadblock near Jerusalem earlier this week during an operation conducted by Jerusalem city inspectors seeking to disperse unlicensed peddling.

A number of other peddlers and drivers at the roadblock corroborated the peddler's version of events.

According to the peddler, K., inspectors, accompanied by a tow truck and two Border Police vehicles, arrived at the roadblock at 10 A.M.

After Palestinian peddlers in the Al-Ram neighborhood, south of the roadblock, warned K., who manned a wheeled stand at Qalandiyah selling inexpensive sunglasses and toys, of the pending arrival of the inspectors, the peddler promptly moved his wares into a taxi.

K. said the inspectors beat him to the taxi. He said he asked them not to confiscate his merchandise and only give him a ticket, adding that the inspector pushed him to the ground and threatened "to shoot."

The Border Police issued a statement saying that: "In an operation of Jerusalem municipal inspectors against illegal vendors in the Qalandiyah area last Monday, a demonstration broke out that included stone throwing against security forces in the area, during which a number of officers were injured. The Border Police operated according to regulations for the dispersal of the mob... No official complaint was filed with the Border Police by the citizen who was injured during the incident."