Ein Nakuba resident alleges gratuitous police brutality

“I want these people brought to justice. This cannot go unpunished.”

Jameel Abdel-Halin is furious.
According to the 47-year-old resident of Ein Nakuba, south of Abu Ghosh, his 14-year-old son, Yassin Abdel-Halin, was on his way to sign up at a Mevasseret Zion soccer academy last Sunday when he was stopped on the road by three police officers and beaten.
“They stopped him on the side of the road, asked him what he was doing, and then began punching him in the face and neck,” Jameel Abdel-Halin told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“Afterwards they searched his pockets and found NIS 60, which they said he had stolen,” he continued. “But that was money I gave him. If he was a thief, I would have let him stay in jail – he would have deserved it.”
“But he’s not a thief!” Abdel-Halin said, his anger apparent. “We are honest people and we have a lot of love for the people of Israel. But something like this? It’s just shameful.”
To make matters worse, Jameel said, Yassin was then taken to the local police station, where the abuse continued.
“Once he arrived at the station, an officer there, a commander, also punched Yassin in the face. They called him a ‘terrorist’ and told him to ‘go back to the territories.’ And for what? They didn’t even charge him with anything!”
Jameel said that he received a call from the police after Yassin had been in custody for about three hours, and immediately went to pick his son up at the station.
“When I got there, I could see that he had been beaten up,” Jameel said. “I took him to the emergency room at Hadassah Ein Kerem. They said he had no serious injuries, but he’s been in bed since it happened. He can’t sleep at night, and he hasn’t gone back to school.”
Yassin, who spoke to the Post by phone on Tuesday, said that he had been having nightmares since the incident took place.
“It’s hard for me to sleep at night,” he said. “This whole thing has frightened me, because I’m afraid it will happen again.”
And for Jameel, who works in Beit Shemesh and said that he “cares very much for the State of Israel,” the incident, he said, has hurt him almost as much as it has hurt his son.
“I’m devastated,” Jameel said. “I never thought something like this could happen.”
Additionally, Jameel said, officers from the police station called his home after the incident and asked him and his son to come back for a “sulha,” or a meeting of reconciliation.
“But we refused,” Jameel said. “Instead, I filed a complaint with the [Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police activities], and they said they would look into it and get back to us.”
The Justice Ministry replied on Tuesday that they had a record of Abdel-Halin’s complaint and that an investigation into the matter was under way.
Because the investigation is in progress, police are prohibited from discussing the incident or releasing any statement on the matter, a police source told the Post on Tuesday.
Still, Jameel said his last hope lay with the Justice Ministry’s investigation.
“I want these people brought to justice,” he said. “This cannot go unpunished.”