Ramallah, 19-08-07: Footage captured by an independent American filmmaker on Wednesday 15 August, showing Israeli soldiers beating, spitting on and throwing stones at three Palestinian children offers yet further proof that Israel's 543 permanent and 610 'flying' checkpoints "are sites of systematic torture and human rights violations against Palestinian civilians", said veteran human rights activist, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP at a press conference held in Ramallah today.
The footage was captured at the Ras at-Tira checkpoint in the Qalqiliya District, and shows the three children attempting to cross the checkpoint in a horse cart when they are stopped by two Israeli soldiers. The female soldier is clearly shown beating the boys before spitting on them and sending them back the way they came. Her male colleague is then seen picking up stones from the ground and throwing them at the children as they drive away.
Dr. Barghouthi said the beatings were reminiscent of the physical assault of 18-year old university student Mohammad Jabali by Israeli soldiers near the notorious Huwwara checkpoint in Nablus on 18 March 2007. Four Israeli soldiers punched and kicked Jabali in the face, head and genitals, causing bleeding and a blood clot in his right testicle. Jabali was forced to undergo surgery and to have part of the testicle removed.