Israel-based rights organisation B’tselem has posted videos depicting IDF troops in combat gear arresting visibly frightened and crying children.
A video depicting Israeli soldiers forcibly arresting Palestinian children has drawn outrage and condemnation online. The footage, posted by Israeli rights group B’tselem shows several soldiers taking struggling children toward military vehicles.
At one point another child attempts to free one of the children from the grips of a soldier, before being dragged away by another soldier. Children can be heard crying out as they are pushed into a military vehicle.
“This is what impunity looks like,” wrote one user.
Must read thread on how “the most moral army in the world” continues to carry out the oppression of Palestinians, including children, in the occupied territories while protecting outposts which are illegal even under Israeli law #ApartheidIsrael https://t.co/LJKgdeXUxt— brianmulligan (@MulliganMusings) March 11, 2021
Every year, Israel arrests hundreds of Palestinian children. It is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts.
The most common charge is throwing stones.
“This is what occupation and apartheid look like”
According to the NGO, five children between the ages of 8 and 12 were detained on Wednesday near the illegal outpost of Havat Maon, and taken to a police station at Kiryat Arba.
Prior to the arrest the children were gathering wild vegetables when two masked settlers scared them away and took their buckets and plants, the organisation posted on its Twitter account. The soldiers were apparently invited by the settlers, it added in another post.
Video footage of the moments preceding the arrest of the 5 children yesterday: The children gathered Akkoub (a type of wild Artichoke) near the settlement Havat Maon, 2 masked settlers approached them, scared them away and took the buckets and plants they left behind. pic.twitter.com/y0zvtt7AFk— B'Tselem בצלם بتسيلم (@btselem) March 11, 2021
Sarit Michaeli, international advocacy officer of B’tselem later posted that the children were released, and that two of them, aged 12 to 13 would be “interrogated” on Sunday.
“The fact that Palestinian children, some under the age of criminal responsibility, can be arrested for this offense [being in the illegal outpost] while the residents of this outposts and their visitors attack, vandalize and intimidate the entire vicinity with impunity, symbolizes the broader apartheid regime,” wrote Michaeli.
UPDATE: the children are released. The older ones (aged 12-13) will be interrogate on Sunday. The army is accusing them of trying to steal parrots from the Havat Maon outpost.— Sarit Michaeli (@saritm0) March 10, 2021
Important to stress that children under 12 can't be arrested under any circumstances.
The Israeli government is notorious for its arrest of Palestinian minors, nearly one thousand every year. Children as young as 8 or 9 have been detained. Many are picked up in the street or from their homes in the middle of the night.
Israeli security forces blindfold and handcuff them, and often subject them to violence on the way to interrogation.
They are interrogated alone, without adults or immediate access to lawyers.
They face inhumane treatment such as beatings, threats, yelling, verbal abuse, strip searches, psychological abuse, weeks in solitary confinement, and being denied access to a lawyer during interrogations, research has found.
The UN, international rights groups and lawyers’ associations have repeatedly condemned Israel for its practices and violations of international law.