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Date posted: February 19, 2003
By LAW Society

On December 25 last year, 'Abd al-Haq Ramzi (14), an American citizen, was studying in his family home in Nablus, alone. At around 3pm, the doorbell rang. Ramzi looked through the window to see who was at the door. He saw an Israeli soldier, and became afraid. He didn't answer the door. The soldier began banging violently on the door, and so Ramzi then opened it.

The soldier told Ramzi not to be afraid, and began looking through the home. He told Ramzi not to lock the door. Later on, another seven soldiers entered, one of them masked.

The masked soldier asked the child if he was 'Abd al-Haq Ramzi. Ramzi answered in the affirmative. He was then blindfolded, handcuffed and forced on the ground. The house was then searched.

The soldiers returned and took off Ramzi's blindfold. They forced him to sit on a couch, hung up on the wall behind him a Palestinian flag, took the caches out of their weapons and also put them behind him. Another soldier bought forward a table and put hand bombs on it. Another soldier put a pistol on the table, gave him an M16 to hold after taking out its cache, and put a Qur'an in his left hand. He was then forced to pretend to pray. The soldiers gave him a paper and told him to pretend he was reading.

Ramzi was then given a bandanna with the al-Aqsa Martyrs insignia (a militia connected to Fatah). A soldier told him to repeat everything he had done on camera. Ramzi noticed that another soldier had a video camera.

After being beaten again, blindfolded, handcuffed, Ramzi was taken to the entrance of his home, where a soldier threatened to kill him and his family if he told anybody what happened. He was then taken in a patrol car, driven around and thrown out again.

LAW's lawyer Mahmoud Jabarin is following up this incident. LAW is demanding to know why a child was put under such psychological and physical abuse and distress; what the soldiers' intentions were in forcing the child to dress as a suicide bomber; why the soldiers were allowed to act with such impunity; and shall demand disciplinary measures be taken against the soldiers involved.

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