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Two Palestinian students from Ramallah have come forward with allegations that Israeli Border police took them to a room, stripped them naked and beat them with fists and sticks at a checkpoint on Saturday. The students were on their way to the University of Abu Dis, where they are students.
Allegations of beatings by Israeli soldiers and police at checkpoints are not infrequent, although many such incidents go unreported, as the Palestinians who are beaten are afraid of repercussions. In one such incident, late last year, award-winning Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer was beaten unconscious and suffered several broken ribs and other wounds when he was crossing back into Palestine from a trip to Europe. Omer’s case gained international publicity, but many similar cases do not make it into the news.
In this case, the students reported that they were detained while crossing a checkpoint between the city of Ramallah, where they live, and Abu Dis, where they attend university. A number of Palestinian were detained, but these two were taken to a room and told to strip naked. They say they were then beaten for several hours.
The two young students, Alla and Iad Mazlum, went with their parents to the Beit El military headquarters to file a complaint. Alla’s father told reporters from the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahranoth, “Why should two students on their way to the university encounter such unwarranted brutality?”
Israeli officers denied the allegations.