Middle East Monitor / March 17, 2021
A field researcher for Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has been interrogated and warned by the Shin Bet internal security service that he is “making trouble and threatening the army”. According to Haaretz, Nasser Nawaj’ah was detained at a military checkpoint between Sussya and Yatta last week while on his way to visit his wife’s grandfather, who was hospitalised.
After an hour-long detention, he was told to speak with the Shin Bet agent, who told him that he could decide between being arrested immediately to be interrogated the next day, or to give his word and come in himself.
The agent, who identified himself as Captain Eid, made a veiled threat against Nawaj’ah by mentioning the incident involving Haron Abu Aram of Al-Rakiz, who is paralysed and in hospital after an Israeli soldier shot him in the neck because he tried to stop the army from seizing a neighbour’s generator. The warning meeting took place the day after he was stopped. It was held in a room used by Shin Bet in the Civil Administration building at the Beit Fajar junction.
Nawaj’ah told Haaretz that the coordinator accused him of “threatening the army” and “generating chaos at the checkpoints, threatening soldiers and creating friction.”
Two days after this interrogation, he was detained again for an hour because the soldiers hadn’t removed him from the list of people summoned by Shin Bet. He was later detained a third time for the same reason.
The Israeli occupation forces often intimidate, arrest and even attack Palestinian human rights activists, as well as Israeli observers who seek to protect indigenous residents from the violence of illegal settlers and soldiers.