Wounded Palestinian Teens Dispute Border Police Claims

Say they were shot, beaten, attacked by police dogs for nothing; troops say they were about to throw bomb.

Two Palestinians have been hospitalized in Jerusalem since Friday after they were shot and arrested by Border Police forces amid claims they were going to throw a bomb. The two Palestinians are under guard in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, have been operated on for their gunshot wounds, and will remain there until their treatment is finished. They deny the claims made against them, and contend that the Border Patrol forces shot them, sent attack dogs to chase them, beat them with their rifle butts, and punched and kicked them.

Adam Jamous, 17, and Jawahar Halbiyeh, 19, are residents of Abu Dis, a town east of Jerusalem. Last Thursday evening they were en route to visit a friend in a neighborhood close to a Border Police base. An Abu Dis resident told Haaretz that before midnight, residents heard a lot of gunfire and saw dogs attacking the two men when they looked out the window.

Attorney Tarek Barghout, from Palestinian Authority prisoners ministry, visited the two men in the hospital twice. One of them, Barghout says, was hit by many bullets and had a bite wound on his arm. The lawyer told Haaretz that the two suspects told him they bought cigarettes at a nearby store and were shot as soon as they lit a match. Immediately after, they were attacked by dogs. They claim the Border Police troops beat them, then dragged them to the base – 300 meters from where they were attacked. They claim they were beaten inside the base as well.

In response to inquiries, a Border Police spokesman said, During operational activity, a group of individuals was seen just seconds before throwing bombs at security forces. When they saw the Border Policemen, the group attempted to run away and tried again to throw bombs at the policemen. The policemen initiated the protocol for opening fire in order to neutralize the threat. The suspects were apprehended, and a bomb was found on them, which has been deactivated.

The response included a picture of the bomb, but did not include any answers to the claim that the suspects were beaten.

A Hadassah spokesman said the two were admitted on Friday morning and are being held in the orthopedics unit. Their condition is stable. They were operated on, and are receiving all necessary treatment.

File photo: Palestinian school children walk past a section of the separation barrier in Abu Dis.