Israeli police humiliate Palestinians in online video clips

Israeli border guards have posted videos online in which they humiliate Palestinians, including ordering a young man to sing and slap himself, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on Saturday.

In one video clip posted on YouTube the man is ordered to repeatedly slap himself in the face while chanting “I love the border police” as off-screen border guards laugh and cheer him on.

“Say one hummus, one ful [fava beans], I love the border guard,” the off-screen voice says. The Hebrew and Arabic phrase rhymes.

Another video shows a Palestinian man sitting in what appears to be a police vehicle chanting the same song.

A third clip includes still photos showing Palestinians bound and blindfolded in a room with an Israeli flag. In one of the photos an Israeli soldier is posing and smiling next to one of the detainees.

The caption of the video says it was made in November 2007.

A third clip shows a series of still photos of border police while in the background someone sings: “Let every Arab mother know that the fate of her children is in the hands of the Company, C Company in the Old City.

“With protective vests and clubs we break apart gun clips on Arab mothers.”

The newspaper quoted an unnamed border police officer who said such behavior was common among police serving in Jerusalem and along Israel’s controversial West Bank separation barrier.

But border guard spokesperson Moshe Finsi insisted that “in recent years the number of incidents of this type has significantly decreased due to improvements in educating recruits”.

He added that the video clips date back several years and that the border guard organisation has investigated some incidents and dismissed the perpetrators.

The border guard is part of the Israeli police and is responsible for preventing Palestinians in the occupied West Bank from entering Israel illegally, including arresting workers without permits.

The border guards have in the past been implicated in violence against Palestinians, and in April 2008 two border guards were sentenced to up to six and a half years in jail for the murder of a Palestinian teenager.

The guards hurled Imran Abu Hamdieh (18) from their jeep as it sped through the West Bank town of Hebron at 80km an hour.
The young man had been seized from outside his Hebron home on December 31 2002.—Sapa-AFP

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