Middle east

“They Carved a Star of David on His Face”: The Story of a Palestinian and 7 Israeli Officers

“A police officer put a taser to my head. I felt something hot on my face. These are not police… this is the mafia.”


These were the words of Arwa Sheikh Ali, a resident of Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, recounting his arrest by Israeli police officers in 2023.

Ali’s story spread after a photo of him circulated on social media, showing a “Star of David” mark beneath his right eye, following the recent filing of his complaint.

Ali told the news site Ynet after filing the complaint that the officers “blindfolded him, tied his hands and feet, and tattooed his left cheek while violently arresting him at home on suspicion of drug trafficking.”

He mentioned to reporters that his wife and children were present at the time of the arrest.

Police Investigation

The Internal Police Investigations Department announced that it recently informed seven of its officers that they would be charged in the 2023 incident.

According to a police statement published by the Times of Israel, the seven officers were to be charged with various offenses, including the abuse of a helpless person, severe assault, obstruction of investigative procedures, and misuse of official authority.

حفروا نجمة داود» على وجهه.. قصة فلسطيني مع ٧ ضباط إسرائيليين

Not all seven officers were charged with all these crimes, and it was unclear what actions would be taken against the other nine officers who also participated in the arrest of 22-year-old Arwa Sheikh Ali in August 2023.

According to information seen by Al Ain News on the news site, the police believe that the mark on Ali’s face was caused by the pressure of an officer’s shoelaces during his restraint.

The police denied any racial motive in the officers’ actions and accused Ali of violently resisting arrest.

A Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge, during one of Ali’s detention hearings, stated that the police had no “reasonable explanation” for how the bruises appeared.

He added, “The police have no explanation for why the body cameras of all sixteen officers” allegedly involved in the arrest were not functioning.

The site noted that all the officers’ body cameras were turned off during the incident.

However, investigators reportedly later found footage of the arrest taken from the mobile phones of some officers, believing that additional footage existed but had been deleted from the mobile phones and cameras of a few participating officers.

Six officers were subsequently interrogated on suspicion of deleting the arrest footage.

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