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Israeli soldiers injure Palestinian worker

May 1, 2011 4:21 P.M. (Updated: May 2, 2011 6:33 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli soldiers on Sunday assaulted two Palestinian workers trying to enter Jerusalem near the Zayem checkpoint, at the eastern entrance to Jerusalem.

Mahmoud Abu Sarhan, 25, said he lost consciousness and fell from a cliff after an Israeli forces officer threw a rock at his head. The Bethlehem resident sustained serious head injuries in the attack, a Ma'an correspondent said.

Ali Mansour Abu Sarhan, 18, said he sustained bruises to his hand when he fell while being chased by police.

"We were a group of workers trying to overstep the separation wall not far from the Zayem checkpoint around 4:00 in the morning. As we started to climb the wall, two soldiers surprised us and so we jumped back and started to run toward the foot of the mountain where we tried to hide," said 22-year-old worker Salah Sarhan.

"After a while, the soldiers appeared from above and started to pelt us with rocks, so we had to run again," he continued.

"While we ran, a rock hurled from a close distance hit Mahmoud’s head from the right side. He fell at once facing the ground and rolled for a few meters on the uneven ground. We continued to run away and decided to come back to check up on Mahmoud only after the soldiers left.

"We found him unconscious, we took him to the nearest vehicle to take him to hospital."

Mahmoud Abu Sarhan was first taken to the public hospital in Beit Jala but was transferred to the Bethlehem Arab Society Hospital where medics operated on his face, doctors told Ma'an.

An Israeli army spokesman referred requests to comment to the border police, whose spokesman referred the incident to Israel's national police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Rosenfeld said he was not immediately familiar with the incident, adding that unless a complaint were filed against the police at one of the District Coordination Offices, there would be no investigation.
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