Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Human rights activist says threatened by IDF

Palestinian member of Rabbis for Human Rights asserts soldiers raided his house at night in bid to cause him to leave organization

A Palestinian human rights activist said Thursday that IDF soldiers were threatening him in a bid to convince him to halt his activities.


On Wednesday night, shortly after midnight, Zacharia Sideh and his family members were awaken by loud knocks on the door of their home in the West Bank village of Jit, near Qalqilya. A group of soldiers broke the door and entered the house.


Sideh, in his twenties, is a well-known Palestinian peace activist and a representative of the Rabbis for Human Rights organization in the territories.


"We woke up and saw nine soldiers in the house. They put me and my family members in one room and began searching the house," he told Ynet.


According to Sideh, he approached the force's commander and demanded an explanation for the raid, but received no answer.


'I'm even more determined now'

Sideh's mother is a heart patient, and when she saw the troops in her house she nearly collapsed.


"Even the soldiers told me 'call an ambulance' after she almost died. They let us leave the room we were put in only in order to bring her medications. They also scared my 13 and 14-year-old brothers to death," the activist said.


Sideh said he believed the raid was aimed at scaring and frightening him so that he would stop bothering the IDF. As part of his job at the Rabbis for Human Rights organization, he calls the IDF's District Coordination Offices on a daily basis in order to warn of closed checkpoints, inappropriate conduct and violence exercised by soldiers and settlers.


Sideh has many Israeli friends and even holds a permanent permit to enter Israel, which he visits as part of his activities, particularly in order to accompany Palestinian children in need of medical treatment.


"I believe they sought to convey a message that I had better halt my activities, but I am even more determined to continue. This conduct by the army will not prevent me from continuing my activity, on the contrary. Yesterday's raid only strengthens me," he said.


The IDF Spokesperson's Office has yet to comment on the incident.


פרסום ראשון: 04.19.07, 21:32
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