ARIJ Staff Detained while on Duty

ARIJ Staff Detained while on Duty



On January 12, 2004 at approximately 11:30 Am, two of ARIJ Staff were placed in custody during a routine field work at Al-Khas village in Bethlehem District. Issa Zuboun and Suhail Khalilieh were raided by Israeli security personals while taking pictures of areas (located in Area ''A'') set for confiscation for constructing a Segregation Wall in order to make record of all the cultivated parts threatened, mainly to records the number of trees before before uprooting. ARIJ staffs, held at gunpoint, were searched along with the vehicle. All equipments (Video/ digital camera and 3 cell phones) held by the staff were impounded. Later on, Israeli Army escorted both employees to ''checkpoint 300'' near Gilo settlement where they were both interrogated by police and Israeli intelligent officers. At 14:45 PM, one of the detained staff was released (Suhail) while the other one (Issa) was placed in an Israeli Army vehicle to be subjected to further interrogation by the Israeli Intelligent (Shabak).

ARIJ staff even though working on project funded by the EU and holding proper documentations to this end, had no consideration by the Israelis. At this time, Issa was held in an Army squad vehicle and transported to Kefar Etzion where the interrogation headquarters of the Israeli intelligent (Shabak) is located and was subjected to 3 hours of interrogation with an Israeli Intelligence Officer concerning the nature of his work at ARIJ and about ARIJ itself as a research institution. Issa stated that the nature of work involved monitoring the activities carried out against agricultural areas located in the Palestinian Territories. He also added that the area where they were arrested is located within the West Bank Territories and no signs where placed anywhere indicating restrictions on entrance or photographing the sites.

ARIJ work is all facts, based on details collected first hand from the field by its staff. All the findings are documented and publicized on ARIJ Website (; it is also distributed to local newspapers international representations in the Palestinian Territories and Israel and official governmental agencies in the EU, among others. 

The pictures recorded by ARIJ Staff put emphasis on the vast Palestinian agricultural areas disrupted and disfigured by the Israelis. The area where ARIJ staff was detained had no military vehicles, tanks or any military presence of any nature in sight or even warning signs. Only in Kefar Etzion where Issa was interrogated by the intelligence officer that the later conveyed ''No Palestinians are allowed in areas where construction is undergoing, including documentations and pictures'' he specifically was informed that his presence at such areas and sites will have remorseful repercussions – meaning an ''Administrative Detention'', the Israeli officer also told Issa not to do this work again.

At approximately 18:30 PM, Issa was released from custody.

It became obvious that the Israeli Authorities through such actions do not want the people of the World to see or to know what happens and what is being implemented on the ground. 

The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ), would like to express its gratitude to every individual and official particularly within the EU Technical Office for their intensified efforts to release Issa to get back to his family and work. ARIJ would also like to pledge its commitment to expose illegal Israeli activities carried out in the Palestinian Territories based on its own factual findings investigated in the fields.

The following digital pictures where taken by ARIJ staff in Al-Walajeh village in Beit Jala and Al-Khas village east of Beit Sahour demonstrating Israeli disruption of Palestinian daily lives and agricultural areas.


 Human Suffering in Al Walaja village




 Al Khas Village, northeast Beit Sahour city. 



Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem



Categories: Israeli Violations