When Israeli forces started body searching Palestinians outside Jerusalem’s Old City, an Activestills photographer on the scene started filming. They detained and searched him too.
Text and photography: Faiz Abu Rmeleh / Film editing: Keren Manor
Faiz Abu Rmeleh, an Activestills photographer and resident of Jerusalem’s Old City, was detained by on Thursday outside Damascus Gate, after he filmed Border Police officers carrying out a body search on a Palestinian man.
The police officers tried to prevent Rmeleh from filming, then asked him to identify himself and undergo a body search as well. When he refused, he was forcefully taken to a nearby police post, aggressively pressed up against a wall and struck by the officers. Below, Rmeleh recounts the incident in his own words.
“Yesterday [Thursday], at 4.30 p.m. I was sitting on the steps outside Damascus Gate with friends. We suddenly heard police officers shouting and saw them grab a guy, who we realized was from the [occupied] territories. The police were hitting him and shouting, and started carrying out a body search in the street.
“I started to film on my phone. Two police officers came over and stood in front of me so I wouldn’t be able to see what they were doing to the Palestinian guy. I told them that if they were blocking my view it meant they were doing something illegal that they wanted to hide. When they’d finished with the guy and allowed him to go, the same police officers came over to me with back-up, asked me for my identity card and said I had to accompany them to undergo a body search as well.
“I refused, and said they could either search me where I was or take me to the police station if I’d done something illegal.
“The officers started arguing with me and forcefully took me to a police stand next to Damascus Gate, where they began frisking and hitting me. They pushed me up against the wall and moved my hands and legs apart by force. After they let me go, I went to take my identity card from the officer at the police stand, and told him that the behavior of his officers was not acceptable — that it humiliates and angers people.
“As we were talking I heard a child crying, and saw that the soldiers were trying to take a...Read More