Rabi'a Shubaki in hospital
Photo: Zakariya Sida

Report: Soldiers beat Palestinian cab driver

Palestinians say taxi driver standing in line at Qalqilya checkpoint called over, brutally beaten by soldiers, taken to hospital unconscious in medium-serious condition. Passenger says threatened by soldiers when he tried to help driver. Army says matter being examined

A Palestinian taxi driver claimed he was brutally beaten by IDF soldiers at the entrance to the West Bank city of Qalqilya early Monday morning. He was transferred to hospital in moderate-to-serious condition.


Palestinians said Rabi'a Shubaki was in his cab in line at the checkpoint at the entrance to the West Bank city, when soldiers in an IDF jeep called him over and beat him.


"We were standing in line. The soldiers asked us, 'Why aren't you standing properly in line?' Rabi'a responded saying we were standing in line.


"The soldiers asked us to go back to the end of the line, and when we reached a distance of four vehicles from the checkpoint, the soldiers called Rabi'a, asked him to get out with his identification card and go to them," said one of the taxi's passengers.


According to the passenger: "Rabi'a approached the jeep and suddenly we heard him shouting: 'Stop, stop'. He fell to the floor and kept screaming. We got out of the taxi and tried to help him, the soldiers threatened us to stay away."


An ambulance from Qalqilya's Nazal hospital arrived to treat Shubaki and transferred him for treatment in the city. After an initial examination, Shubaki was transferred to a special hospital in Nablus due to the head injuries he sustained.


Samih Hamad, the ambulance driver that evacuated Shubaki told Ynet, "When I arrived at the exit checkpoint, the soldiers in the jeep that beat Rabi'a were around. When I approached the soldier he asked me what there was in the ambulance. I told him 'a patient'.


"The soldier asked me, 'How was he injured?' I didn't want to tell him that it was Rabi'a who they beat moments before. I told him the patient fell on his head."


Hamad said the soldier opened the ambulance door, noticed Shubaki, recognized him and smiled. According to the ambulance driver, the soldier then said, "Him – he deserves another beating. Hit him again, hard," before letting him go.


According to Hamad, before losing conciousness, Shubaki said he was punched in the head and when he collapsed on the floor he was kicked by the soldiers.


"He also said that in addition to the punches, he was beat with another device, but he couldn’t tell us whether it was a rifle, a stick or something else," Hamad said.


The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in response: The District Coordination and Liaison Office received a complaint in the matter and it is being examined. If it proves to be true, it will be dealt with."


פרסום ראשון: 05.18.09, 17:47
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