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The Only Democracy? » On The Ground Reports » How the Shabak Use the Children of Palestine

How the Shabak Use the Children of Palestine


Ed. Note:  The following is a report from Bi’lin resident Yasser Awad Yasin on his  interrogation by Israeli security forces.

 My name is Yasser Awad Yasin.  I am 27 years old and I’m from the village of Bil’in. I’m married and I have two sons and one daughter.

The Shabak (Israeli security ) had called me on the phone and told me to go to their office.  I didn’t go, so the army raided my house.  I was sleeping with my wife and children when they woke us all up.  I asked them what they were doing because I hadn’t done anything. They asked me for my ID and they told me to go to the Shabak offices the next day. I asked them why they didn’t arrest me now and then the soldiers gave me papers ordering me to go for questioning. 

When I went there, first they strip-searched me and asked if I have any weapons.  I told them I have a packet of food and they took it off me.  Then they took me to the  head of the Shabak who told me many things about myself and my family to make me scared and to make me believe that they know everything.  He  told me they knew I have a son who has kidney problems and  ” we wanted you to come here to help you.  You can send him to hospital in Israel and we can make sure he gets all the help he needs. I understand your situation because I also have children and I love them.”  When I heard this I told him I have two sons who are sick, not one.  He asked me what the problem is with the second child and I told him he has heart problems. He asked me which hospital he goes to and I told him the hospital in Ramallah.  “Why don’t you send him to an Israeli hospital where he can get better treatment?  We can help you to arrange that.” 

Then I understood that he would want something in return for this offer and he said we can do anything for you if you help us and work with us in Shabak.  I told him that the treatment was OK there and he doesn’t need to go to an Israeli hospital. He replied that my son may die if he doesn’t get the best treatment, in order to make me scared.  But I told him, “If he dies it will be because of your weapons and your gas every Friday.  I live near the Wall and we have to leave our home every Friday to protect the children from these things, otherwise they may die.”  Then he started in a different way.  He asked me if I have a house and maybe I need money.  I told him I have a house and a job and I don’t need help from anybody. 

After that he returned to the problem of my son who needs treatment in Israel because he knew that I have a real problem there and this was the best way to get my cooperation to be an informer against my own people.  He asked what I would do if they refused to give him permission to go through the checkpoint to take my son to the hospital and I said that his mother could accompany him.  “And what if we refuse to give her a permit?”   I replied that his grandmother would go.  “And what if we refuse his grandmother?”  I said I will take him to Jordan.  “And what if we stop him at the border?”  I replied “I will take him to Ramallah – and may God help us”

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Carol Sanders was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She is a retired legal services attorney and author of legal texts. She lived in Israel from 1963 to 1966, where she worked on a kibbutz, did graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as an assistant to the then-mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek. Carol is a long-time activist with Jewish Voice for Peace, and is the JVP representative to the Middle East Advisory Committee and a member of Bay Area Women in Black.

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