Qasem used to leave the city of Nablus once every two weeks in order to visit his family in Qalquilia for the weekend, after attending classes at An-Najah National University. At the end of last week, on Wednesday April 30th 2003, he was passing through the Surrah checkpoint on his way back home, when he was faced by two Israeli soldiers. One of them was a Captain. Qasem was one of 6 male students and 20 female students, all returning to their families in Qalqilia. Qasem was asked by one of the soldiers if he spoke Hebrew, answered in the affirmative. He was then asked to tell all the students to go back, that they were not allowed to pass the checkpoint. Qasem complied. The male students obeyed the order, while the female students did not move. The soldier spoke again, this time ordering Qasem to move the girls too, all the while cursing him.
The Israeli soldier was angry with Qasem, questioning him, checking his bags as well as his body. While he was checking the student’s body, he noticed a spot on his arm, a burn mark. “It is the result of joking between me and my friend,” said Qasem. The soldier, laughing at his ability to bear pain, then took a piece of glass and broke it and, taking Qasem`s arm, began to cut into it a Star of David.
Qasem, feeling pain, started to move. The soldier, who was also the Captain, beat him on his legs, and pulling the arm to him continued his “painting”. Qasem noticed that the soldier drew the star perfectly.With the mutilation completed, Qasem saw that he was losing much blood, but he was not allowed to scream or even to complain. The Captain told Qasem that was enough, and “Isn’t this star more beautiful than the other mark?” “Right?” He was then permitted to leave, not properly through the checkpoint but on a rough road. The soldier was apparently angered at news of a new resistance operation in Tel Aviv.
Throughout this two hour experience, Qasem was alone with the Israeli soldiers, terrified that he would be killed, his family knowing nothing of his whereabouts. It was especially difficult, given that he had not been home for a month. He was completely humiliated and a great deal of his time was wasted.
Qasem the Law student is again in Nablus, attending his classes at An-Najah University, but he will not go back to see his family until he has finished this semester. He also has a very embarrassing tattoo to live with, on top of everything else.
A few days ago a friend posted a meme on facebook, the meme was made of a Picture of a Palestinianart student playing violin at Beit Eiba checkpoint near Nablus. The meme has the good intention of showing how brave Palestinians are, facing the Israeli military oppression with music. Yet remembering the year 2004, when this picture was taken, we and the student appearing in the picture considered it a huge insult to the Palestinians in general and to us, students in particular, it was nothing but another attempt by the Israeli fascist to humilate the Palestinians!
As we argued about the picture, I remembered a story in which the victim encountered an extreme brutality reflected by the Israeli fascist. When I went back home I looked up the report my friends wrote about this case, after reading it, I decided to Post it again. So here you go;