Jerusalem24 – 24FM – Hala Al zuhairi (Translation: Rula Sughayer) – we know him well and have seen him with our own eyes. But this time, we will listen to him instead.
On the twenty-sixth of June, the Palestinian security forces suppressed a demonstration that rose up in Ramallah condemning the killing of Nizar Banat. Social media platforms sparked with a picture of security officers in civilian clothing dragging a young man in the city center after one of them struck his head with a stone.
Ameen Ashour Salhab; a merchant who owns “Salhab” women’s clothing store in the Mukhmas building in the city center, he used to photograph all that passes by his shop for a long time.
Salhab assures that he has nothing to do with politics “I got old and I have nothing here, I have 8 children and all I want is to make a living. I basically consider myself a son of Fateh. And I’m a former prisoner as I spent two years in prison.”
When he saw the march approaching the “Al-Irsal Street” leading to the presidential headquarters, meaning that it would pass by his shop, he decided to stand in the opposite side of the shop, next to the KFC, and near the security forces that are present there. “As the security forces were behind me, I found a safe area for filming” he said to 24FM.
Salhab said, “As usual, I started filming when the clash begun between the demonstrators and the security forces. Then all of a sudden, a young man dressed in civilian clothes comes toward me and asks me to stop filming. he raised his hand towards me, so I yelled at him saying “put your hand down or I will break it.”
He added, “I certainly refused because I’m not obligated to obey the orders of an anonymous young man dressed in civilian clothes, who only wants to take away my phone and my privacy.”
After an argument, the security officer summoned two others and they starting beating Salhab. He tried to escape from them towards the demonstration, this time, thinking that this might protect him. Eventually, when he managed to escape from them, he was surprised by another large group on the opposite side that started beating him “I got a plenty of kicks and punches and got thrown at by stones too.”
He said “I told them to take my phone and leave me alone, but they refused and carried on beating me- they literally broke me- A moment later, someone hit me by a stone on my head from behind, afterwards, I couldn’t see clearly. Yet, they dragged me all around the streets.”
“They lugged me and bit me as if I was a criminal.”
Salhab told 24FM, “After they held me in the detention car, I had severe pains and I was not able to breathe. So, I asked them to transfer me to the hospital, I felt like dying.”
They transferred him from the detention car to the ambulance then they brought him back to the detention car and took him to the investigation headquarters, he was aching from pain and had breathing difficulties. After hours of this, they decided to release me. “They made me sign a pledge; I swear I didn’t read a word of it. After I signed it, and while I was leaving, they told me “Pull yourself together for your family. Meanwhile, I wasn’t able to move. So, I headed directly to the hospital and did some examinations and x-rays. My body is full of bruises.”
Later, Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governor; Dr. Laila Ghannam contacted the Salhab Family to shed light on what happened and – it’s said- that she will visit him.
Salhab will resort to the law. “I will go to the judiciary and let those who attacked me be held accountable. And if there is just in our judiciary it will do me justice” he mentioned to 24FM.
Salhab finished his talk saying that “I’m incapable of opening my store again, I’m ashamed from people”
“I’m mentally devastated, and I shiver at night …… this is all because of a cell phone.’’