One morning in April 2012, B., a Palestinian residing in the region of Hebron, went to visit a friend. On his way, he passed a group of soldiers, entered the orchard of friends of his, and plucked some almonds. The commander of the soldiers – B., in his testimony to Yesh Din, believed they were soldiers of the Kfir brigade, the occupation-specific brigade of the IDF; he described the commander as “tall, light-skinned, medium built” – called him and asked for his ID card. B. Asked him in English why he didn’t ask for it when he walked into the orchard, and the commander, also in English, answered “this is my mood.” B. told the officer that it’s nice he has moods, but he is supposed to be a soldier, i.e. someone who is acting according to regulations and orders, not whims.
The officer did not appreciate this brief lecture, so he ordered B. to turn his hands over so he can be handcuffed. B. asked why, and the officer informed him he was under arrest. B. asked on what grounds, and the officer declined to reply. The soldiers tried handcuffing B. by force, and finally handcuffed him to a fence, crucifixion-like. The soldiers apparently did not think of the poor Hasbara system and the damage caused to it if the world sees the picture, which may remind him of some dark periods in the early first millennium.
A Palestinian walking by summoned international activists, who reached the scene with cameras. The soldiers tried to push them away, as B., still handcuffed to the fence, asked them bitterly what it was they didn’t like people to see, if everything was legal.
The soldiers realized they had a problem, so they told B. they’re taking him to the police – through the Admot Yishai settlement, which is home to some noted characters, such as Baruch Marzl and Yifat Alqubi. Naturally, B. didn’t like the idea, and asked that the police come and arrest him. Does the police work for you? Asked the soldier. At the same time, B. noticed that the officer was trying to break his magnetic ID card – it’s made of hard plastic, and without it a Palestinian can hardly move in a land dotted with checkpoints.
The police eventually arrived, a policeman returned B. his ID card, and he registered a complaint with the MPCID in Beer Sheva in June 2012. Things moved slowly since; no rush. About a week ago we received MPCID’s response: it decided to close the case without ordering an investigation. It further decided not to explain its decision to refrain from an investigation into a false arrest (if B. was actually suspected of anything, he would not have been released), and tying someone, cross-like, to a fence.
Hey, it’s just a Palestinian, after all. What can he do? Complain to the media?