Complaint: Woman partially stripped during Geulat Tzion evacuation

Updated: Apr 8

Monday, December 3, 2018, 11:33 A serious complaint has been filed with the Police Investigation Unit against policemen who stripped a woman of her pants and underwear in the process of destroying her house in the Shilo Bloc community of Geulat Tzion on Thursday, November 29. The incident was recorded on video. In the complaint titled “Violent evacuation and extreme violation of the woman’s modesty”, Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado demanded an urgent investigation into the incident and the confiscation of all of the photographic evidence from the incident. From the complaint: “The complainant who was evacuated from her home in Geulat Tzion during its destruction approached me and gave me harsh testimony of violence applied to her, her children and her baby. The violence reached the point of exposing her genitals to the policemen present and to cameras recording the incident.” Yado conveyed the woman’s complaint and mentioned that she cried while giving her testimony: “… They [the policemen] took my child, who started to scream ‘Mommy, mommy,’ after that they came to me and took my oldest child, aged four and a half. They took him outside. Then they came to me and told me to go out. I said, ‘Not a chance,’ and they started to pick me up. And then the border policewomen arrived and started to simply crush his head, an eight-month old baby, and then they took him and left a scratch on his face. “After that they tore off my head covering, and I started to scream and beg them to bring me my head covering. They didn’t care. They only lifted my legs. A man held me from behind, women held my arms, and then they started to take me out. I tried as hard as I could to get them to bring me my head covering, but no-one cared. And then when they took me outside I noticed that one of my arms wasn’t in my shirt… then he pulled my pants…” Later in the complaint there is a detailed description of how the complainant’s modesty was severely violated: As she was being dragged from her home, a policeman removed her clothes, including her undergarments. Additional policemen recorded the incident on video.

Destruction in Geulat Tzion; Photo credit: "Geulat Tzion-B'Hazon U'Vma'as"
Destruction in Geulat Tzion; Photo credit: “Geulat Tzion-B’Hazon U’Vma’as”

On Thursday, November 29, Civil Administration forces arrived at Geulat Tzion with a large number of police forces in order to demolish three structures at the site. In addition to the woman’s complaint of violence and harassment, other complaints of police brutality by border policemen were recorded as were complaints of possessions disappearing during the destruction. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is handling the woman’s complaint, stated that, “We demand an urgent investigation of all of the video clips from the incident and we would like to receive an explanation for stripping the complainant of her pants and underwear, and also for each and every one of the details in the complaint.” Yado sent copies of the complaint to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Knesset Member Betzalel Smotrich and Knesset Member Shuli Moalem: “I am including you as addressees to a serious complaint which I received and I am filing on the aggressive evacuation of a woman, the mother of three small children, from her home in Geulat Tzion. According to the woman, whose claim sounds authentic and pained, [policemen] stripped her… her genitals were exposed to the policemen present and to the cameras recording the incident, and other parts of her body were exposed. There is photographic documentation of the incident, and the severity of the complaint justifies assertive, exhaustive and immediate investigation. If the complaint is correct then the proper conclusions must be reached. For your information and your attention in handling the matter.”

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