The Daily Life of Kawther Salam

  ..: Sexual Harassment by the IDF :..
April 25, 2003
Note: This story was published in 2000 by Sami Sokol / Alternative Information Center

On April 25 2000, when I arrived at Shuhada Street in the old city of Hebron, (the part of the city under Israeli control) after I told that two Palestiniand were being beaten and handcuffed by IDF soldiers, as I arrived on location, the soldiers immediately identified me. They said to each other "the witch has arrived". I did not respond. The (Israeli) policemen on the spot asked to open the handcuffs. I wanted to take a photo and the soldiers stood in front of the camera. Later the soldiers prevented eyewitnesses to the beating from speaking to me, so I approached an Israeli police vehicle and complained about the harassment. As I stood and turned my back to the soldiers and spoke to an officer in the vehicle, I suddenly felt a body pressing against me from the back and a rifle leaning on my arm. I suddenly felt a hand in my armpit. I turned around and noticed one of the soldiers putting his hand in my bag and another 7-10 soldiers encircling me so eyewitnesses would not see what was happening. I then shouted, "Don't touch me", and I spat at one of the soldiers and another soldier called out "You are on my Ary". That means "Dick" in Hebrew.

As a result of this incident I was rushed to the hospital, where I was diagnosed as suffering from a nervous breakdown and depression. After I filed complaints against the soldiers, they started shouting insults like "Lesbian", "Bitch" or "Whore" at me, and remarks such as "You want a baby I will give you a baby".

These are the nice civilized soldiers, how nice and civilized the IDF soldiers are ?

In the complaint filed by attorney Pacheco on 27.4.2000 are also these harassments:
* February 2000: when Hebron was covered with snow, soldiers made a snow sculpture of a penis and when I passed by them, they began calling me and mastubating and licking the sculpture.
* December 19, 1999: Filed a complaint with the Attorney General against a settler who took off his pants and exposed his behined to me in 1997, the event was filmed and a complaint was filed (see image below).
* March 1999: A Jewish settler, owner of a red Peugeot with plate No. 89-471-04 tried to run over me with his car.
* The settler David Wilder put on a costume dressing as me and followed me on the street. He mocked me and danced along the way.
* 1998: The settler Anat Cohen threw a stone at me, the soldiers present at the place did not take any actions.
* I filed over 300 complaints against the IDF soldiers and the settlers at the police station, but no action has been taken.

IDF Soldier who groped Kawther while she was talking with his officer. He belongs to same group depicted below.

Article which appeared in Yediot Ahronot about a settler who showed his behind to Kawther when she filmed him with friends while demolishing the Al-Akhtab mosque at the Vegetable Market in Hebron. The photo is a  frame grabbed from a video made by Kawther.

Soldiers at the entrance to the cemetery in Hebron. The soldiers had tied down an Arab with an Israeli I.D. with the wires and beaten him up in the cemetery.

The same soldiers. The officer congratulating one of his men for beating up an indefense civilian. The harassment and groping of Kawther was obviously a revenge for bringing the story to their commander.