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Report: Soldiers beat and humiliate Salfit farmer

Nov. 21, 2010 8:04 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 22, 2010 6:47 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian farmer said he was beaten by Israeli soldiers on Friday morning, after he asked them to open the agricultural gate and allow him access to his farm land in the northern West Bank village Az-Zawiya, west of Salfit.

Mu'taz Ribhi Abu Nab'a, 22, said the incident occurred at 11:30 a.m., as he waited to cross the gate to his land, on the far side of the separation barrier.

A force made up of men and women refused to let him through the gate. Instead, he said, soldiers beat him, strip-searched him and hand-cuffed him before transferring him to a military base.

Abu Nab'a further said that female soldiers humiliated him and took photos with him.

When he asked an Israeli officer why he was being beaten and humiliated, the young farmer said, he was told "Because you deliberately disturbed us and made us go to the gate early in the morning." Abu Nab'a said the officer in charge then accused him of attempting to break down part of the barrier. The farmer said he denied the charge and informed the soldier that he knew there were monitoring cameras which would have documented him.

He also told the soldier he had a permit issued by Israeli authorities giving him permission to access his land.

According to Abu Nab'a, soldiers ultimately freed him in Hebron, more than 60 kilometers south of his home town, but only after he was served with a summons ordering him to go the Israeli intelligence office in Tulkarem on Monday for further interrogation.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she could not look into the report without the Palestinian's ID number.

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