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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Majd, a native of Libya holding a Palestinian Authority passport, was admitted to the United States in January 2002 as a non-immigrant visitor. He overstayed his visa and in April 2003 was charged by the Department of Homeland Security with removability under 8 U.S.C. �1227(a)(1)(B) for remaining in the country longer than permitted. In a September 2003 hearing before an immigration judge, Majd conceded he was removable as charged but requested asylum, witholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture, or, in the alternative, voluntary departure, claiming he was entitled to all such relief because, as a Palestinian living in the West Bank, he had been persecuted by Israeli forces. HOLDING:Affirmed. The IJ determined that Majd was ineligible for asylum and withholding of removal because the evidence demonstrated that his suffering was the result of the generally dangerous conditions in the West Bank and did not rise to the level of persecution on account of one of the five statutorily protected grounds. With regard to the March 2001 incident at Majd’s place of employment, the IJ found that the evidence suggested that the Israelis were attempting to apprehend a suspected terrorist in the area and that they fired on Majd not because he was a Palestinian, but because he disobeyed a soldier’s order. The IJ found that the search of Majd’s house was not an action directed specifically at Majd because of his race, nationality, religion, political affiliation or membership in a social group. Rather, the Israeli forces were looking to apprehend other individuals believed to be hiding in the building, an operation that required a search of the entire building. The IJ concluded that Majd was a mere bystander to the shooting incident at the security checkpoint. That action by the Israeli forces was again not directed specifically at Majd, but was precipitated by the suspicious activity of the occupants of another vehicle. The IJ also found that the frustration of the Majd family’s attempts to bring their harvest to market and the destruction of the family’s olive groves were caused by the pervasive unstable conditions in the region, not by Israeli actions directed at the family in particular. With regard to the two occasions on which Majd was detained, the IJ found that he did not suffer any long-term deprivation of liberty or permanent physical injury. Accordingly, the IJ concluded that though the detentions could be considered harassment, they did not constitute persecution. Finally, the IJ determined that the detention of Majd’s brother and cousin shed no light on how Majd would likely be treated on returning to Israel, because those detentions were the result of circumstances specific to each man. The record fully supports the IJ’s determination regarding Majd’s ineligibility for asylum and witholding of removal, and Majd points to no evidence that compels any contrary conclusion. The court concludes that every piece of evidence presented by Majd indicates that he and his family have been the victims of circumstance, not the special targets of brutality. The IJ found that none of the harm done to Majd constituted “severe pain or suffering . . . intentionally inflicted [upon him] for such purposes as obtaining from him . . . or a third person information or a confession, punishing him . . . for an act he . . . or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him . . . or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind . . . .” 8 C.F.R. �208.18(a)(1) (2000) (emphasis added). The court does not reverse the IJ’s conclusion. “[T]he Israeli soldiers were certainly intending to harm Majd when they shot at him outside the bank. They did not so intend, however, with a discriminatory purpose or a goal of extracting information or a confession from Majd, but rather because they were trying to halt his escape.” OPINION:Smith, J.; King, Smith and Benavides, JJ.

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