EI blogger who witnessed Palestinian Authority police beating protestor forced to destroy photos

Electronic Intifada | Ali Abunimah | Sun, 07/01/2012

Palestinian Police block protesters from reaching the Palestinian presidential headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, during a protest in the town, on 1 July 2012

(Issam Rimawi / APA images)

Electronic Intifada blogger Jalal Abukhater was forced to delete photos he took of Palestinian Authority (PA) police violently attacking a protestor in Ramallah on Sunday.

Abukhater wrote this account of what he witnessed:

After the police started pushing and beating protestors with sticks and batons, I managed to slip behind their line to be met with another line of police only a few meters behind. There, I was alone with my camera, I saw a guy lying on the ground being beaten by the police behind their line, I tried to take a picture but my camera was then confiscated.

I was forced to delete all the pictures on my camera by the police, then my camera’s SD card was destroyed to pieces. The guy who was being beaten by the police managed to stand up – he was visibly bleeding – he was then slapped and dragged to the nearby police vehicle. However, he was released from detention and moved to a hospital for his injuries to be treated.

However, Abukhater identified a photo of the man whose beating he witnessed, covered with welts and bruises on his back, posted on Facebook.

After witnessing the beating of this protestor, Jalal Abukhater was forced to delete images from his camera by Palestinian Authority police


Other images posted by a Facebook page called Palestinians for Dignity showed police confronting demonstrators, and other individuals with apparent injuries.

Injuries and arrests as PA attacks Palestinian civilians

The violence in Ramallah occurred when PA forces attacked Palestinian civilians protesting against PA policies.

Ma’an News Agency reported:

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Palestinian protesters said security forces used brutal force Sunday during the second demonstration in as many days protesting Palestinian Authority policy.

Police attacked protesters with batons, beating and injuring at least seven people. Another seven protesters were taken to a police station along with at least two journalists, a Ma’an correspondent said.

Protesters shouted against police brutality, and the police responded by beating them. Journalists were also attacked for the second day in a row, the correspondent reported.

The reporter said Reuters photographer Saed al-Hawari was attacked and photographer Ahmad Musleh was arrested. A camera belonging to journalist Ahmad Ouda was confiscated.

Another Palestinian journalist told Ma’an that a police officer tried to hit his camera, and when he defended himself, grabbed him by the neck. While the police officer was removed by colleagues, he warned the journalist: “I will see you another day.”

“It was more crazy than yesterday, you can’t imagine – they hit girls and were laughing like they don’t care about Palestinians,” the journalist said.

Near the headquarters of President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, a violent clash broke out as police tried to prevent protesters from crossing a line of security forces, the correspondent reported.

A spokesman for the Palestinian security services said 10 people were hospitalized, and several arrested, without providing the number of detentions.

On Saturday, the PA had forcibly dispersed a protest against a planned meeting between PA leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Vice Prime Minister and former army chief Shaul Mofaz.

Palestinian human rights lawyers, including the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, have been pursuing Mofaz for years in an attempt to bring him to justice for war crimes.

Ma’an quoted a PA security official blaming protestors for provoking police, and saying that police were investigating who was behing the protests. The “agendas of those unknown movements are to create chaos and harm security and attack Palestinian police,” security official, Adnan Dmeiri told Ma’an.

Trained and funded by US and European Union with Israel’s support

Palestinian Authority security forces and police have been funded and trained by the United States and European in recent years, training which has assisted them to violate Palestinian human rights, as The Electronic Intifada has reported.

The Palestinian Authority has carried out numerous crackdowns and attacks against Palestinian political activity and media in recent years acting in “coordination” with Israeli occupation forces.

As recently as May, The New York Times quoted Abbas telling Israel lobbyists visiting from the United States how he pleaded with Israel to allow his forces to have more weapons in order to maintain what he called the “security situation.”

The development of repressive PA security forces that have even engaged in torture was carried out beginning in the mid-2000s under the supervision of US Army General Keith Dayton. Dayton and his Palestinian wards were instrumental in a US government conspiracy to overthrow the elected Hamas-run Palestinian Authority after 2006.

Mark Perry and Ali Abunimah wrote a detailed account of Dayton’s mission based on revelations that came out in the Palestine Papers last year.



PHOTOS | Stop talking Abbas! June 30 2012 | PA suppresses demo July 1, 2012

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