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Israeli soldier beats Palestinian laborers with rock; three in hospital with multiple fractures

Nov. 10, 2008 1:29 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 10, 2008 1:29 P.M.)
Nablus - Ma'an report - Three workers from the southern Nablus governorate were beaten with stones by Israeli soldiers on Monday.

The men were taken to hospital where medical staff confirmed that several bones had been snapped.

When speaking of the incident Palestinian sources recalled the Israeli policy of the first Intifadah. During the late 1980s Israeli soldiers were outfitted with truncheons and encouraged to break the bones of Palestinians participating in protests.

The workers were identified as 20-year-old Mohammad Qawariq from Awarta and 20-year-old Mousa Barham from Beita in addition to another man from Qabalan who asked to remain anonymous for fear that Israeli authorities would take measures against him.

According to the men a group of Israeli soldiers confiscated their identity cards as the men headed towards work in Israel early Monday morning. The men are laborers and were en route to work via the Nil'in checkpoint north of Ramallah.

An eyewitness said that the men encountered the soldiers, who "stopped them with their rifles."

"Then the Israeli soldiers asked the workers to say "we are not men" and when they refused to, they began beating them with the rifle butts," the eyewitness continued. He described one soldier picking up a large stone and turning back to the workers, and striking them with the rock repeatedly. The witness said he believed the soldier was trying specifically to break the bones of the workers.

Three were transferred to Sheikh Zaid hospital in Ramallah where they were treated for multiple bone fractures. Medical sources described their conditions as medium to serious.

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