JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A young Palestinian woman from occupied East Jerusalem has accused security guards at an Israeli light rail station, along with Israeli police officers, of physically and verbally assaulting her on Thursday.
Natalie Abed Rabbo, 18, told Ma’an that she had bought a light rail ticket and was boarding the tram, when “all of a sudden, a security guard approached me and accused me of boarding the tram without a ticket.”She said that she showed her ticket to the the guard, but that he ignored it.
She added: “I asked him to check the surveillance cameras to make sure that I had bought a ticket, but he refused.”Abed Rabbo said that she then asked to speak to an officer to submit a complaint, but before she was able to do so, “eight security guards attacked me and pushed me into a corner, grabbing me by the neck.” She said that a female Israeli police officer tried to take away her handbag, but that she held onto it.Abed Rabbo said she was able to use her mobile phone to call her family, and that her mother and brother soon arrived on the scene.
However, she said: “Special force officers then arrived and they beat my mother and brother, and they cuffed my hands and my feet.” The young woman said she was taken to the Russian Compound police station where she said she was again physically assaulted.The interrogator “accused me of boarding the tram without a ticket, as well as assaulting security officers and police personnel,” she said. Abbed Rabbo was released several hours later having paid a bail of 3,000 shekels. She said she was also forced to pay a fine of 200 shekels for breaching tram regulations.On Monday, a Palestinian man was shot in the foot by a security guard at a light rail station near the illegal Israeli French Hill settlement in East Jerusalem.
The security guard alleged that Hatem Salah had been attempting to stab passengers, although police later withdrew the allegations after it became clear that Salah had not been in possession of any sharp objects at the time.Early investigations showed that Salah had been physically assaulted by two Israeli light rail guards on Sunday, the day before he was shot.The light rail service began operating in 2011 along a 14-kilometer (nine-mile) route which begins at Mount Herzl and passes through West Jerusalem before heading through the Palestinian east of the city and ending at the illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev.Land belonging to Palestinians in Shuafat was confiscated in 2001 by the Jerusalem Municipality for the construction of the light rail, which will eventually link more illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem to West Jerusalem upon its expected completion in 2016.