Testimonies: Teenagers Tell How the Police Beat Them

Teenagers all over the country are trying to recover from the mostly unprovoked physical blows they suffered at Amona yesterday, and even more so from the emotional duress they are experiencing.

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 1:04 PM

The banner draped from one of the Amona houses reads, "Every house that is destroyed is a victory for Hamas."
Click "play" below to watch video of wounded Amona youth
click here if video does not appear

Yechiam Eyal, 15, of Psagot, was atop one of the houses slated for destruction, together with many others. When the police arrived - stepping off the shovel of a giant bulldozer that lifted them up and crossing over the barbed wire - the boys on the roof went to one side and sat down.
Yechiam Eyal began breathing on his own Thursday morning

At that point, says Yechiam's brother Yotam,
"the police just came over to them and started bashing. One policeman hit my brother three times on the arm, and apparently broke it. Afterwards they smashed him on the head, and that caused his condition to deteriorate. No policeman took the trouble to help him, and they kept on pushing him even after he was bleeding from the head. Once in the ambulance, they gave him something to put him out." Yechiam regained consciousness over the night, and has even begun to speak.

The ambulance driver, who came to visit Yechiam Thursday afternoon, said, "What really happened in the ambulance is that his condition deteriorated to the point that I had to perform resuscitation for a minute and a half."

"The police came with the purpose of killing," another brother, Amotz, concluded. A soldier in the Paratroopers Brigade, Amotz received permission not to take part in the Amona operation. "I give my all to this country, and then it comes and spits in my face," he said.

The Amona community leadership asks that everyone who was hit in the head by police clubs be checked medically. The request was issued after it was learned that some teenagers hit in the head yesterday discovered only today the symptoms of a concussion.

Avraham Fishman, a photographer from Kedumim, related the following story:
"I was sitting inside one of the houses, with some 40-50 others in the living room - yes, it was very crowded, and there were many more in the other rooms - and our plan was that when the police would come in, we would sit in a line and be dragged out... I was photographing, and my video shows that when the police came in, they did not allow us this option; they said quite clearly, 'Either you leave on your own or we beat you' - and they did ...

"One policeman is seen hitting someone over and over and over, and I was hit by three policeman. You can see clearly in the pictures how everyone is sitting; no one cursed them or anything."

Fishman's video, which shows police beating civilians engaged in classic passive civil disobedience, can be seen below.
Click "play" below to watch the video
click here if video does not appear

Rivka K., 14, of the Ulpanah in Ofrah:
"We were a bunch of girls standing around the 6th house, trying to be a passive force against the police entry into the house. With no warning, the police just rushed us, crushed us, hit us with their clubs... Many of the girls fell down, and then I found myself on the floor, alone, and then two policemen started dragging me away on the rocky ground, and at the same time another one was hitting me, and mocking me: 'Go home, little girl.' Then he stopped, and another one started hitting me. They dragged me to a pole, and continued to mock me. Then they left me...

"As I looked around to join my friends, I kept seeing more and more people getting beaten up, and I kept on crying again and again."

Rivka was speaking this morning from the site of the destroyed homes in Amona, where she and several dozen others had arrived to clean up the garbage and rubble left behind. She said that some people had already begun "rebuilding" one of the ruins out of doors and bricks.

Shlomit T., 13, Beit El:
"I was standing with other girls, forming a line around one of the houses. Our goal was to prevent the police from coming in to the building, using passive resistance. We knew, for reasons of modesty and the like, that we would try just to talk with the police when they came, and certainly not to fight. We were standing with our arms locked together when the police came rushing down on us and didn't even give us a chance. They started right away with the clubs, one policeman hit me in the leg, then he pulled me and I said, 'Stop, I can go by myself,' and he threw me down on the ground and then hit me with his club on my face, right near my eye. I was dizzy for a couple of seconds, and then I got up and was able to get away... My face was swollen for a while, but I had an x-ray and I'm much better now."

Elazar K., 19, a student in Yeshivat Beit Orot:
"We were outside the houses, planning to stand in a line and show passive resistance. We were standing near the two big barriers of bricks and burning tires. Then the policemen came, and started advancing towards us, with their horses, like a big powerful wave. On the level above us we could see horses scattering the girls...

"They first came to us and merely touched us, then they went back - without talking to us at all - and then they came again, but this time charging towards us with full force, hitting us also with their clubs. I fell down from the force of a blow, and somehow made my way backwards - and then I felt my head and realized that I was full of blood. I made my way to the medics on the side, where they gave me initial treatment, and then to another station where army medics were treating us. Some of us refused treatment from the army medics, saying, 'First you smash us and then you treat us?' I was in no position to do this, but I showed them the irony of the situation...

"In the ambulance with me was someone who had been expelled from Gush Katif, and the medics said he had a broken jaw. Speaking with difficulty, he said that some [special police unit] Yassamnikim had set upon him, even though he wasn't really doing anything, and threw him to the ground and laid into him with blows. Luckily for me, the Yassamnikim didn't attack me; it was only the police...

"Once in the hospital, I saw about 30 of 'our' guys come in with bad injuries, in the head, ribs, neck and the like - and only one injured policeman brought in."

Elazar A., from Carmel in the South Hevron Hills region, was also standing between the two lines of bricks and burning tires when he was attacked. He told his story shortly after getting his broken finger set:
"We were set upon with policemen swinging their clubs. I received many blows to my arms and legs, and one extra sharp one that broke my finger. But then, I got an even bigger one on my head, causing a wound that ended up having to be double-glued... I fell down, and over my body, they kept on hitting other people. Finally someone got me out of there, and later I was taken out on a stretcher...

"Once in the hospital, I was sitting there with four others who had been hurt, and there was one Border Guard policeman who was also hurt. When he saw us, he started yelling at us and getting up to throw something at us, until he was restrained by some people there."

Naamah G., 15, Beit El:
"I was on the roof of the fifth house, and the police came from behind, where we did not expect them. One of the policemen just came over to me, grabbed my ponytail and began twirling me around by my hair. Then he gave me a slap and a few others also hit me very hard, and I ran towards my friends. Then they started dragging us, with one of them choking me very painfully by sticking his finger under my chin..."

Phone and fax numbers of relevant officials:
Police Chief Karadi - 02 5308100 fax 02 530 8118
President Moshe Katzav - phone: 02 6707211, fax 02 5671314
State Comptroller's Office - 02 666 5000, fax 02 666 5204
PM's Spokesman - 02 5666920 fax 02 566 9245
PM Olmert's personal spokesman - 02 6662301 fax 02 666 4400
Chief Rabbi Metzger 02 5377872
Chief Rabbi Amar 02 5371305