Shin Bet Detains B’Tselem Field Researcher in South Hebron Hills

On Saturday night, 6 August 2022, B’Tselem’s field researcher in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied Palestinian territories, Nasser Nawaj’ah, was arrested by soldiers who arrived at his home in the village of Susiya. Nawaj’ah was handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to a military camp in the settlement of Otniel.

He was held there for about 12 hours, still handcuffed and blindfolded, and was given no food or water other than a few sips at the beginning. Throughout the entire time, the police, the military and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency – ISA) did not notify his family, B’Tselem or his lawyers of his whereabouts.

Nasser Nawaj’ah, B’Tselem’s field researcher in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied Palestinian territories (Photo: B’Tselem)

On Sunday, around midday, Nawaj’ah was taken to a Shin Bet interrogation facility in Gush Etzion, where he was interrogated by an officer who introduced himself as “Captain Yassin.” The officer questioned Nawaj’ah about his work and home, and accused him of “causing all the trouble in the area.” The officer then asked Nawaj’ah to stop “causing trouble” and “engaging in friction” with the occupation forces.

This is not the first time the ISA has taken action against Nawaj’ah. In 2021, he was summoned for a talk with an ISA officer who presented himself as “Captain ‘Eid.” In the “warning talk,” the officer told him he was “threatening the military and sending B’Tselem activists to harass the soldiers.”

In response to his arrest, Nawaj’ah stated: “It is not surprising that Israel goes after people who document the injustices it commits in the Occupied Territories and work to expose it. The violence of the Israeli forces is nothing new – it is a daily part of my work and of life for all Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. That is why I do my job, and I will continue doing it.