Provocation in Hebron?
Photo courtesy of Breaking the Silence

Officer to Arab student: Remove head cover

Israeli Arab on Breaking the Silence tour to Hebron says was asked to remove 'Muslim indicators' for own personal safety. 'This event is a reminder of Hebron's prevailing policy of institutionalized ethnic separation backed by Israel's police, state's authorities,' say Association for Civil Right in Israel

A police officer on Sunday instructed an Israeli Arab student to remove her head cover. The student, a resident of Jerusalem, was on Shuhada Street in Hebron with a guided tour organized by Breaking the Silence organization.


When the student demanded an explanation, she was told it was for her own safety – in order to avoid "Muslim indicators." After refusing to take off her head cover, the student was denied entry and the whole group left the area. The police claimed "the details of the incident were distorted."


The student, Nazek, was astonished by the officer's request and told Ynet that it was an incident pointing to clear discrimination. "His words only reinforced the slurring I got from a settler who passed in the area a few minutes earlier and said 'I wish you die.'


"How can you claim a person's religious nature is a provocation? I wore a head cover before the incident, and will continue to wear one after it," she said.


Nazek's friends said the officer and settler's statements were unnecessary, as the settler's wife probably also wears a head cover as part of her religion.

'Institutionalized ethnic separation' (Photo: Breaking the Silence)


Breaking the Silence claimed that Cave of Patriarchs Police Chief Arnon Friedman told them the road was "only for Jews."


Dana Golan, the organization's executive director said, "Breaking the Silence has organized educational tours in Hebron for the past 5 years, despite the government's objection and the settler's violence. It seems Hebron police is deeply confused over the question of who is a Jew, and what is legal. It's another symptom of the hard daily reality."


The Association for Civil Right in Israel added that the incident "reminds us all of Hebron's prevailing policy of institutionalized ethnic separation backed by the Israel police and the state's authorities, and that behind the neutral terminology and security claims there is simple and ugly racism."


A police spokesman said it was familiar with the incident, but claimed its details were distorted. According to the police, a group of left wing activists arrived at Kikar Hashoter in Hebron and tried to join a group from Breaking the Silence.


"Because the number of activists exceeded 10 people, and their intention was clearly to hold a procession that is in violation of the agreement between the police and the organization – the organizers were told such a procession would require police escort and would cause provocation– therefore the organizers decided to proceed in another direction and left the area."


The police denied the Cave of Patriarchs police chief's statement, and claimed Friedman "merely explained the possible risks involved in holding a procession without police escort."


פרסום ראשון: 06.01.10, 16:06
 new comment
This will delete your current comment