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Israel denies Palestinian forced to drink wine at checkpoint

June 13, 2013 6:23 P.M. (Updated: June 14, 2013 10:49 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli army on Thursday denied allegations by a Palestinian activist that intelligence officers forced a man to drink wine at a checkpoint near Hebron.

"After reviewing the incident, all indications show that the described event did not occur," the army said in an emailed statement.

"Yesterday, a Palestinian who was apparently inebriated approached an army post near Beit Ummar. Using minimal, non-aggressive measures, IDF forces moved him away from the spot," the statement said.

The army was disputing charges by a spokesman of the Beit Ummar committee against Israel's wall and settlements, who said intelligence officers forced a Palestinian man to drink wine at gunpoint late Tuesday.

Muhammad Ayyad Awad said a military patrol stopped Muhammad Khalil Abu Dayyah, 24, from the Safa neighborhood near Beit Ummar and forced him into a military tower at the entrance to Beit Ummar.

He said Abu Dayyah was being asked to give names of young men who participate in clashes against Israeli forces in the Hebron-district town. When he refused, Awad said, an intelligence officer pointed a rifle at the back of his head and ordered him to drink a bottle of wine.

Awad added that after Abu Dayyah drank the bottle, he passed out for an hour. He was awoken by Israeli soldiers who then threw him out of the military installation, he said.

Locals who witnessed Abu Dayyah being taken away by Israeli forces took him home after the incident, and they confirmed that he appeared under the influence and smelling of alcohol.

The consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Islam.
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