Friday, 23 December, 2011 | 15:29
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) -- Dawood Yousef Sharaf, 16, was brutally beaten by Israeli soldiers on two separate occasions in the past week in Silwan. Here he recounts the dramatic story to Silwanic.
On Thursday, 15 December Dawood was on his way home from school in East Jerusalem. As he passed by the Mercy Cemetary near the Lion Gate of the Old City the police station outside Silwan, Israeli troops began to harass him. Three troops called Dawood over and asked for his ID and if he’d ever been arrested. He was then told to come into the police station, remove his clothes and get ready to be searched.
“I stood against the wall and raised my hands. One soldier forced me to put my legs apart, then started to beat them. The soldier demanded to know why I had spoken in a high voice when being questioned outside, and I told him that I was in a hurry. They then left me wait over 30 minutes before allowing me to leave. As I was about to exit the building, several officers drew their weapons and forced me back in for another inspection. Finally I was able to leave.”
Two days later as Dawood was on his way home from school, an Israeli soldier stopped him in the street and said “you’re the one they took in and humiliated on Thursday.” He pointed to a group of soldiers standing nearby, and said “those are the ones over there who did it. Why don’t you go and ask them why they did it?”
“I thought that confronting them might stop them from harassing me in the future,” said Dawood. “So I went over to the three soldiers who had assaulted me. As I approached them, they knocked me to the ground immediately. They handcuffed me and dragged me back into the police station, where I was beaten for over 40 minutes. I was beaten brutally, all over my body, until I passed out. I didn’t believe I would get out alive.”
Dawood comments that he is only the most recent in an ever-increasing line of brutalities inflicted on the children of Silwan. “Soldiers are constantly harassing children from Silwan.” He also added that soldiers told him that despite his clean record, Dawood would now have a criminal record after the attack.
The Children Protection Committee at the Wadi Hilweh Information Center states that “physical assault of children from Silwan by Israeli forces are taking place both in and outside of the Silwan area at an unprecedented level. Israeli soldiers, settlers and settler guards often target Silwan children when they are outside the neighborhood on their way to or from school.