In the early morning hours of 25 January 2004, IDF soldiers entered a-Nabi Saleh, a village in Ramallah District. The head of the village council, Bashir a-Tamimi, told B’Tselem that, around 2:00 A.M., soldiers knocked on people’s doors and ordered the residents to go to the village square. At the square, all the residents, including small children, were instructed to go to one soldier who recorded the person’s name, another soldier who took their photograph, and a third soldier who took their fingerprint on a blank piece of paper. When several young men refused to be fingerprinted on a blank page, the soldiers threatened them with weapons. At the end of the operation, one of the soldiers explained to the residents that the reason for these activities was that people from the village had thrown stones and paint at soldiers. The soldier warned the residents that if those acts continued, the soldiers would take harsher measures. A-Tamimi estimated that the soldiers photographed and fingerprinted about 450 of the 500 residents of the village. He added that, before the operation ended, soldiers took away three youths, who were about 13 or 14 years old. Later, the youths told him that the soldiers had questioned them. One of them said that a soldier had slapped him a few times.

      In an incident that took place on 22 September 2003, soldiers forced residents of Sarra, Nablus District, to place their fingerprint on a blank page or on a page with their names and identity numbers. When Ahmad Ghanem asked why the soldiers wanted his fingerprint, one of the soldiers answered that he did not owe him an explanation, and smashed his head against an army jeep. The next day, in a similar incident, a soldier used force in taking the fingerprint of Sidki ‘Awad, a resident of the village. ‘Awad told B’Tselem that, “The commander looked at my ID card and wrote a line or two in Hebrew on a piece of paper. Then he grabbed my finger, put it on the ink pad, and pressed it onto the paper.”

      B’Tselem asked the IDF Spokesperson for an explanation of why these activities were carried out and what use will be made of the pictures and fingerprints.