A 17-year-old resident of the Shuafat
Palestinian refugee camp claims he was severely beaten by undercover Border Guard
officers last month – an assault that landed him in the hospital. Ynet has learned that the teen's father filed a complaint with the police's Internal Investigations Department.
According to the Border Guard, the teen was involved in attack on a border police post back in September.
According to attorney Khaled Zabarka, who represents the alleged victim, the teen was targeted by a group of plainclothes officers while he was sitting at a coffee shop.
"They came up to him from behind, grabbed him and began hitting him," the lawyer said. "He tried to escape but didn't have anywhere to run. They were then joined by three or four others who continued to beat him while he was kneeling on the floor."
The teen after being beaten
It was then that the youth realized that the assailants were cops, Zabarka said.
"They hit him in the head with their fists and slammed their weapons in his face," he said, adding that once they were done, they dragged the boy outside, face down, across the glass-strewn floor.
The youth's relatives said he sustained eye injuries and required stitches to his scalp. Furthermore, his teeth were damaged and he was vomiting blood. A month after the fact, he is still in pain.
The police said it is looking into the complaint over the assault.
According to the Border Guard's version of the events, a unit that sought to arrest the teen in November found itself surrounded by hundreds of violent rioters who threw firebombs, rocks and metal rods at them while attempting to help the suspect escape. Sixteen officers were injured.
Blockade in front of refugee camp, night of attack (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Police investigators first suspected the teen attempted to stab an officer while resisting the arrest, but he has yet to be charged with the crime. Instead, he was charged with involvement in a raid on a border police post.
The indictment alleged that the teen and several others threw Molotov cocktails and rocks towards the security forces and tried to break into the post and torch it. The Border Guard says an officer was trapped in the post during the attack.
When the border police came to detain him weeks later, the Border Guard said, "The suspect resisted arrested and attacked the officers … Nevertheless, all pertinent materials have been submitted to the Police Internal Investigation Department."
The youth's attorney dismissed the charges as unfounded.