Atarot: Where are the detainee’s belongings?

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Rachel A., Translation: Naomi Halsted

 A Palestinian who was caught by the army at Atarot checkpoint was transferred from place to place during his detention: from Atarot to the court in Jerusalem and thence to Ramle prison. His numerous belongings were taken from him at the start of his detention and not returned upon his release. A search has begun for his missing equipment. For some reason Ronny P went to Ofer Prison, where they hadn’t heard of him. He was in fact sent to prison in Ramle, but he says that his things weren’t with him there, so it was thought they would be in Atarot. 

Yesterday I went to the Border Police at Atarot, where I was told there were no interrogators, but perhaps there would be someone there at midday. I left and came back at midday, and once again was told there were no interrogators. I called another phone there and found a woman interrogator. It took her a while to answer that she had nothing belonging to Palestinians. Nothing at all. There were no arrests.

That just leaves Ramle, where no one is answering the phone.

I have written a general letter to the Prison Service inquiries.

All of this has taken a lot of time and much emotional distress.

My conclusions:

  1. Question the Palestinian exactly when, where, how much, and why
  2. Don’t go anywhere without calling first and understanding why
  3. Understand that a lawyer is supposed to do this work (after charging fabulous sums of money).


At the Border Police base at Atarot, there are no reception hours. When you get there, you’ll find yourself outside the gate, shouting to the guard to say what you need. Then you wait for something to happen, look for creative solutions and go home empty handed.