BREAKING UPDATE 14:30pm: Court releases all 7 minors arrested in Bir Hadaj - 2 without conditions, 4 on yet-to-be determined conditions, and 1 on house arrest until Thursday. The 2 released without conditions are en route to the emergency room.
One (16 years old) was shot at close-range with a rubber bullet. According to his testimony, he ran into his home following clashes with police. The police broke down the door to the bathroom and shot him with a rubber bullet in the chest, before tasering and brutally arresting him. The judge condemned the police actions and released the boy without conditions. Stay tuned for updates from the court.
Following violent dawn clashes between Israeli Police and Border Police in the Arab Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj in the Naqab (Negev) yesterday, 12 November 2012, the Magistrates’ Court of Bir el-Sabe (Beersheva) is hearing police demands to extend the detention of 14 remaining detainees. Huge police forces entered the village accompanying officials from the Interior Ministry, who intended to post demolition orders on homes and the village mosque. The police accused the detainees of assaulting police officers, obstructing police work, damaging police vehicles, and evading arrest.
Late last night, the court extended the detention of four detainees for a further three days, and released an injured 16-year-old minor to house arrest until Thursday, 15 November. Hearings continued for five minors this morning. Adalah Attorneys Orna Kohn, Jalal Dakwar, and Nadeem Shehadeh, together with Attorney Sabor Abu Jammia’ of Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and AttorneysSalem Abu Medeghemand Shahadi Ibn Bari, among others, are representing the detainees before the court.
After entering the village, which is officially recognized by the state, at 6am on Monday, the police interpreted every movement they saw as “expression of protest” and used brutal force against the villages, and even firing large amounts of tear gas around and inside the village’s elementary school. Dozens of students and parents were hospitalized after inhaling tear gas. They also fired rubber bullets directly at several people, hitting a pregnant woman in the stomach and a man in the eye. Undercover officers, dressed as Arabs, seized villagers’ cars in order to enter Bir Hadaj and make arrests.
Dr. Thabet Abu Ras, the Director of Adalah’s Naqab office, said that yesterday’s events were an instance of brutal and illegal police violence against the village. He demanded that the police officials and officers who were responsible be investigated and criminally indicted.