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Friday, October 08, 2010

Victim of belly dancing embellishes her story

A woman who claims to be the person in the video showing an IDF soldier dancing around her has added a great deal to her story between the first interview and the last one.

She first surfaced in an interview with AFP:

"I saw the video on Al-Jazeera. I didn't sleep all night because I felt humiliated and frustrated," Ihsan al-Dababsi, 35, from the southern West Bank village of Nuba, told AFP.

"When they arrested me, they took me to the Etzion detention centre near Bethlehem. After they questioned me, they put me in a corridor and put on a blindfold and handcuffs," she said.

"I could hear the laughter of the soldiers, their voices and the music. I could see what was happening because the blindfold was not tight, and I begged them not to film me.

"But they continued to videotape me, and they were drinking alcohol and dancing," she said.
But in her latest interview she adds a few minor details that she didn't feel important enough to tell AFP:

Dababisa said she was detained at Etzion checkpoint at 8 a.m. on 11 December 2007, and thrown into a military jeep, handcuffed and blindfolded. She was taken to the yard of Etzion detention center in front of a group of soldiers.

Moments later, she said, she heard loud music and one of the soldiers tried to touch her. She tried to stay close to the wall, and another soldier arrived with a bottle of wine, and offered her a drink. When she refused, but he continued to harass her, she said.

The soldiers then attacked her "like vicious dogs."

"They began beating me with rifle butts and legs. One of the soldiers hit my head against the metal of the military jeep until I fainted. Then I found myself in front of a female doctor wearing military uniform. After examining me they moved me to the interrogation center where my journey of torture and humiliation started.

"The officer’s name who began to interrogate me was Beran. He threatened to demolish my family home and arrest my siblings, the interrogation lasted for two hours. After that I was transferred with my eyes blindfolded to another interrogation center, I think it was the Russian compound, where there were three interrogators.

"Soon after I came in they began insulting and cursing using words I do not want to say. One of the interrogators was pulling me from my hair. I was handcuffed the whole time. The interrogation lasted until 11 at night, then they transferred me to Hasharon prison where they accused me of trying to stab someone, and of affiliation with the Islamic Jihad. Lawyers from the prisoners' society defended me and I was sentenced to 22 months in prison. I was released on 6 September 2009."
So now she was mercilessly beaten, had her head bashed to the point of unconsciousness, and was pulled be her hair - and she only told AFP about the dancing?

I'm not convinced that the woman is even the same one as seen on the tape. (I don't know enough about Palestinian Arab culture to know if women consistently wear hijab of one color or not; the woman on the tape is wearing black and Dababsi wears white.) Even if it is, she appears to be acting the way we have documented other PalArabs act - their "eyewitness" testimonies almost invariably end up being made up or hugely exaggerated when they have a chance to pile blame on Israel.

UPDATE: Israellycool notices the same thing, and adds a third source of discrepancies.