A policeman in riot gear hit Yechiam Eyal, 15, on the head with a metal bat on Wednesday while he sat on the roof of one of the nine empty homes in Amona to protest their imminent demolition, his mother said Thursday.
Sitting outside the neurological unit in Hadassah-University Hospital in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem on Thursday, where Yechiam was recovering from a fractured skull, his mother Rachel told The Jerusalem Post
that extreme police brutality caused her son's injuries.
A shy woman, Rachel stated that while she did not like giving media interviews, after Wednesday's violence she resolved to overcome her reluctance. According to Rachel the protesters in Amona were "good kids, not violent kids, [who were] pushed to the limit and they broke."
Yechiam and his 17-year-old brother, Yotam, arrived in Amona Monday night, from their home in the West Bank settlement of Psagot. The attack took place some time after police approached Yechiam, who had come to Amona to protest with "no intention of being violent," she said.
Police started to hit him on his arm with a bat, she said. Yechiam shouted, "It hurts, stop." Police continued hitting him, this time on his head, with the metal handle of the bat. Yechiam cried out, "I'm bleeding," until he was carried to an ambulance.
Once inside, his condition worsened. "On the way to the hospital," Rachel said, "he lost consciousness and he stopped breathing. They had to use CPR to bring him back."
When the ambulance reached Hadassah-University Hospital on Mount Scopus, Yechiam was anesthetized to stabilize him. He was later transferred to Ein Kerem.
Rachel and her husband, Nachi, the director-general of the National Union, were informed of the attack after Yechiam was taken to the ambulance. Despite the horror of knowing their son was seriously injured, she felt relieved because at least she knew where Yechiam was, as opposed to Yotam, whose whereabouts were unknown until he returned home Wednesday night.
In fact, she said she was not worried until just before the attack, when she heard on the radio that the situation in Amona was quickly escalating to extreme violence. She called Yechiam approximately 20 minutes before he was injured, and recalled that he said, "I can't talk, they're spraying water on us."
She described an incident that occurred in the lobby of Hadassah Ein Kerem Wednesday night, when Yotam, who was visiting with friends, had an encounter with a police officer who declared, "I'm sorry he [Yechiam] isn't dead." Yotam was unable to get the name of the policeman.
Rachel believes that police were ordered to use extreme violence in Amona, to "make an example" of the situation. She described how she heard over the cellphone of a friend, who was in Amona, someone telling police "I want to see heads rolling."
Yechiam was transferred from intensive care into the neurosurgery department on Thursday morning. He had not yet needed surgery to that point, and his family believes he did not suffer any internal damage.