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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Soldiers assault taxi driver at West Bank crossing

Published Saturday 10/12/2011 (updated) 11/12/2011 18:44
The scene of the assault on Haitham Ibrahim Kabha near Barta village.
(MaanImages) Click the image to enlarge or see more.
JENIN (Ma’an) -- Israeli soldiers manning a West Bank crossing to the Jenin village of Barta assaulted a taxi driver on Saturday.

Haitham Ibrahim Kabha, 37, is in al-Razi hospital suffering from bruising on his neck and back, a Ma'an reporter said.

Official news agency Wafa reported that Kabha suffered a fracture in his back.

"I was planning to go to Jenin through Barta crossing which is the only entrance and exit to the town," Kabha, a taxi driver, said, but he was prevented from leaving by soldiers.

He then asked to speak to a senior official.

"When the officer came, he accused me of insulting a soldier. He asked me to step out of the car and with 8 other soldiers they beat me with their feet, hands and the back of their guns.

"After that I didn’t feel a thing until I woke up in the hospital,” Kabha said.

Kabha's brother, Baha, said that despite screaming in pain, soldiers kept on beating him until he passed out. A Magen David Adom ambulance was close by but didn't offer any help, Baha added.

“Israeli soldiers prevented any Palestinian ambulance from helping Haitham when he lost consciousness; they kept back the ambulance for half an hour until they were pressured by protests at the crossing," he said.

The eastern section of Barta is completely enclosed by the separation wall and there are two crossing points to the village.

An Israeli military spokeswoman deferred calls to the Israeli Defense Ministry who did not answer a call from Ma'an seeking comment.

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