Anger at video of Israeli soldiers detaining 5-year-old rock thrower

A 5-year-old being taken to an army vehicle in Hebron. Screen capture from a video.
 
 
Incidents of Palestinian teenagers being arrested for throwing rocks are common in Hebron, where tensions with Israeli settlers usually run high. But videos recently filmed by activists show the detention of an exceptionally young child – just five years old.
 
The incident, which occurred on Tuesday afternoon, was captured on film by activists from B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation that has equipped field workers with cameras throughout the West Bank. The first video, filmed in Hebron’s old city, shows the screaming, crying boy being led by a Palestinian teenager into an army vehicle as a group of armed soldiers watched.
 
The boy is escorted to an army vehicle by soldiers. Screen capture from video. FRANCE 24 has decided not to publish the full video to protect the child's privacy.
 
The boy being taken into an army vehicle. Screen capture from video. 
 
From there, according to B’Tselem, the boy was taken home, where the soldiers picked up his father, identified as Karem Maswadeh; they then took both of them to a nearby checkpoint, where B’Tselem activists resumed filming. In the video, the father is seen blindfolded and handcuffed, with his son by his side, as IDF soldiers wait for a liaison with the local Palestinian authorities to arrive. An IDF spokesman told FRANCE 24 that it was standard procedure for people to be handcuffed and blindfolded when taken inside a military structure, like Maswadeh was.
 
The boy's father was hancuffed and blindfloded. Screen capture from video.
 
According to a statement released by the IDF, which says the boy was caught hurling rocks towards a public street in Hebron, “he was passed onto the care of the Palestinian Security Forces, all the while accompanied by his parents. The child was not arrested and no charges were filed.” The boy and his father were then released.
 
Under Israeli law, children under age 12 cannot be held criminally responsible for their actions. B’Tselem’s director has written a letter to the Judea and Samaria legal adviser contending that the soldiers had illegally arrested the child, and is now awaiting an answer.
 
The video has become front-page news in Israeli media, prompting outrage among many commenters. Prominent columnist Ami Kaufman argues in 972 magazine that the child’s treatment was motivated by racism.
Contributors

“This scene is extreme, but it should raise alarm about a system that allows this to happen”

Sarit Michaeli is an activist with B’Tselem, the activist organisation that released the videos.
 
Every so often, we see cases of Palestinian children under 12 being detained. But it’s rare to see this with a child so young. This scene is extreme, but it should raise alarm about a system that allows this to happen.
 
According to local witnesses, the boy threw a stone at a stray dog. We don’t know what actually happened – it is common for Palestinian youth, as well as Israeli settler youth, to throw stones in Hebron. But there are other ways of dealing with it, for example by contacting social services, or dealing with the parents directly. Once they found out who the child’s parents were, there really was no reason for him to come along and witness his father being handcuffed and blindfolded!
 
What’s also disturbing is that in the videos, the soldiers are very calm, and appear to think they were acting correctly. We believe that they’re doing this to scare all the children into stopping their stone-throwing. Indeed, this can be dangerous, but we have noticed that they are not treating all children the same way. We have seen many cases in which settler children throw stones, and soldiers do not intervene. So it’s clearly discriminatory. [An IDF spokesman, when asked whether settlers’ children are detained, told FRANCE 24 that two Israeli children in a nearby settlement were detained last week for trespassing at a water facility.] The solution, of course, is not to arrest settler children either – all children should be treated as children!

Comments

This is just pure

This is just pure inflammatory... If you read carefully, the boy was released the father was released, no one was arrested... What were the soldiers supposed to do, encourage the boy to throw more rocks?

Kids should be taught not to harm others...

Be it any situation, at home, or political related or whatsoever.... any kids who are below 12 years and is not disciplined, should be taught with nice beating with thin bamboo stick and pinching. Else, when they grow up into adolescene, they will be the worst criminals or like a street animal with hatred.

It is the duty of parents not to teach kids hatred on any topic. Learn to teach peace.

Kids as malefactors

Let's give some youngster a bomb, and have him/her toss it at a juicy Israeli or Palestinian target. Then let's see the reaction on all sides.

Using kids to do bad stuff is a well-understood method of getting bad stuff done with impunity. Ask any New York cop on the narcotics squad.

Parents?

From the look of it the father, he is very young. He must learn to not allow his five year old to throw rocks toward a public street where people are driving and walking. Actions have consequences. Where the guardian is negligent, the state must (sadly) step in.

Is this fair?

What about all the Palestinian children who are stoned by agressive Israeli children? What about the Palestinian children who are shot dead for entering into the "Jewish only" zones?

5 year old detained

In a civilized country a unsupervised 5 year old child would be detained by child services and the parents charged with neglect. I can see it now an unsupervised child breaking car windows in a shopping centre in say London or Paris and the Police doing nothing about it.

what about Hamas

I wonder if B'Tselem also follows Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip with cameras as they teach 5 year old Palestinian children how to kill Israelis or how great it is to be suicide bombers/martyrs?? I doubt it.

stupid

Question: Why is daddy letting the boy throw rocks in the street.

I know the answer, do you?

Maybe he shouldn't throw

Maybe he shouldn't throw rocks, and then he won't get detained. In other parts of the world, this concept is called "Cause and Effect."

5 yr old Palestinian

The anger should be directed as his parents for allowing (or actually sending) a five-year-old into danger like that.

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