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March 6, 2010

Last sunday, the Israeli military stationed and occupying inside the old city of Hebron (al-Khalil) arrested and detained two young brothers, Amir (10) and Hasan (12). They took Hasan to Ofer prison near Ramallah, where he is still being held right now. He has a court date (!) on Sunday. Imagine. a court date for a 12 year old boy.

Meanwhile, the soldiers detained Amir — ten years old — at the Kiryat Arba settlement’s detention center, blindfolded him and tied him to a chair for ten hours next to a huge military attack dog which barked and was provoked to do so by the soldiers. Not letting him go to the bathroom, he wet himself. And was terrified and traumatized.

I went to visit Amir and his family on Thursday. A sweet boy, full of spirit and laughter, was obviously still dealing with the terror he experienced, yet was still a little kid for the most part. wrestling with his cousins, fidgeting with pencils on the table, normal kid stuff. but there was a total sadness and fear in his eyes.

Thursday night, at 2am, Israeli soldiers broke into Amir’s house and snatched him from his parent’s arms (mom and dad were threatened with death by the soldiers who pointed their US-made M16s at their heads if they tried to protect Amir), took Amir downstairs to the stairwell, and beat him over and over again. When it was over, Amir’s mom and dad ran downstairs and found their boy bleeding from the mouth and nose.

He was kicked so badly in the stomach that he was bleeding internally and may need surgery. Hospitalized for a day. He hasn’t talked since the beating.

I’m going to Hasan’s court date tomorrow at Ofer prison, and then the family invited me to come with them to the mental health clinic with Amir on Monday.

This story is one of the most horrific and unbearable ones I’ve ever done. More to come soon.

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