(Hebron, West Bank) Today at noon, UN-recognized Palestinian Human Rights Defender Issa Amro was brutally beaten, tortured and detained by Israeli forces near his home in Tel Rumeida, Hebron. Amro was detained and tortured for ten hours in an Israeli army base while being denied access to medical care and communication with his lawyer, who was not told of his whereabouts. No reason was given for his detention. The detention came hours after Israel declared a state of war.
Amro was arrested outside his home in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeida, Hebron, which also serves as a community center for nonviolent methods of resistance. Mohammad Natsheh, a volunteer with Youth Against Settlements, witnessed the arrest. Less than three hours after reporting the incident, Natsheh similarly disappeared.
“Today, settlers in army uniform prevented me from reaching my house,” Issa Amro stated. “The settlers in their army uniforms jumped on me and arrested me. I was handcuffed very, very tightly and made to sit for hours on a small chair. They blindfolded and even gagged me because I was asking for help. I was kicked and hit many, many times by the soldiers. They rejoiced and tortured other Palestinian detainees in the Israeli military base.”
“Israel is not defending itself,” Issa Amro stated. “It’s occupation, it’s apartheid, it’s Jewish supremacy. I saw that today with the soldiers. They don’t distinguish between anybody. They see us all as their enemy. But we will never give up.”
In February, Amro was filmed being brutally assaulted by an Israeli soldier in front of a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist in a video that garnered more than 16 million views on Twitter. A few months earlier, Israel forces had beaten and arrested Amro for filming a video of a soldier beating up a left-wing Israeli activist.
Issa Amro is a Human Rights Defender recognized by the United Nations, the European Union and the U.S. State Department. He is the founder of the grassroots group Youth Against Settlements and the Executive Director of the American NGO Working for Peace and Justice. In 2016, Amro was indicted by Israel on 18 charges condemned by Amnesty International as “baseless” and “politically-motivated.” A 2017 letter from numerous U.S. Representatives to the Secretary of State encouraged Israel to reconsider the charges. In 2021, Amro met with U.S. Secretary Blinken.
Contact: Issa Amro | +972 59-934-0549 | Email: [email protected]
Issa Amro recounting his torture in Israeli detention. Watch his whole statement here.