Jenin (QNN)- An Israeli human rights watchdog revealed horrible details about a settlers’ kidnap of the Palestinian boy Tareq Zubeidi over two weeks ago.
B’Tselem said that the 15-year-old boy was kidnapped while he was walking near Seilet Al Dhaher in Jenin along with his friends.
It added that “it is clear that the boy was physically and mentally abused”.
Zubeidi said he and some friends took some snacks up to the hilltop where the settlement once stood and found a place to relax. At about 9:30am they heard people shouting in Hebrew and looked up to see a small group of settlers coming towards them.
He said, they fearfully ran down the hill towards their village. Zubeidi said an earlier knee injury slowed him down, allowing another group of settlers in a car to catch up with him and knock him over as he descended the gravelly street that connects the illegal settlement of Homesh with the main road.
“Four settlers got out of the car and there were two others who were travelling by foot,” he said. “One of them had a gun.”
The settlers beat him with wooden clubs before blindfolding him and tying him to the hood of the car, he said. They drove for about five minutes, back up the hill, before the car came to a sudden halt, sending him tumbling to the ground. “Then they started to hit me, spit on me and swear at me,” he said.
He said the settlers tied him to a tree and whipped him with a belt. Then they took him down, cut his legs with a knife and burned the soles of his feet with a car cigarette lighter. In the end, they hit him over the head with a club, knocking him unconscious, he said.
When he came to, he was in an army four-wheel drive with an Israeli soldier who he says immediately began threatening him. “He told me that if anything happens in the settlement we will arrest you, and if there is any stone-throwing, you will take full responsibility,” Zubeidi said.
His father, Abdul Razek Zubeidi, said his son was taken to a hospital that afternoon and spent the night there. A medical report said he had bruising on his shoulder and cuts on his feet. Photos taken shortly after the incident appear to show two dark wounds on the soles of his feet.
Zubeidi’s mother, Hanan Zubeidi, fears it could have been much worse.
“Imagine, my son tells me that he was beaten up by them,” she said. “I did not expect to see him alive.”
The United Nations envoy to the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, raised Zubeidi’s case at a meeting of the Security Council last month, describing the incident as a “heinous act” and calling on Israeli authorities to hold the perpetrators accountable.
Source: Al Jazeera