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