+972 Magazine » Video http://972mag.com Independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:12:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 WATCH: Soldiers protect settlers attacking West Bank village http://972mag.com/watch-soldiers-protect-settlers-attacking-west-bank-village/99018/ http://972mag.com/watch-soldiers-protect-settlers-attacking-west-bank-village/99018/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:54:35 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=99018 Following the horrific terror attack in Jerusalem, IDF soldiers escort masked settlers as they pelt the village of Urif with stones.

A group of about 50 — mostly masked — settlers from Yitzhar attacked Palestinians in the West Bank village Urif on Tuesday night under the protection and escort of IDF soldiers, Israeli human rights NGO Yesh Din reported.

Video footage of the incident, which took place just hours after the horrific terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, clearly shows IDF soldiers not only doing nothing to stop the assault on Palestinians, but in fact guarding the settlers as they throw stones.

Some of the soldiers appear to fire crowd-dispersal weapons at young Palestinians who gathered on the edge of the village. A 13-year-old student from the village school was lightly wounded by a stone thrown at his head, according to Yesh Din.

In the video below, at minute 00:54, a masked Israeli settler can be seen hurling a stone in the direction of Palestinians, standing safely behind the soldiers, who look on.

Yesh Din, which has been monitoring the recently established Nationalistic Crimes Unit, an Israeli police unit meant to deal specifically with settler violence against Palestinians, found that in the two years since the unit’s establishment, the number of investigations that led to indictments has actually gone down. Since 2005, a mere 7.4 percent of investigation files led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property.

According to the organization, Tuesday’s attack is just the latest example of the IDF’s failure to meet its obligation to protect Palestinian residents of the West Bank, which it is expected to do under international law as an occupying force.

“Once again we discover IDF soldiers failing to meet their obligation to protect Palestinians subjected to vicious attacks by settlers in their own backyards,” said attorney Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man, legal advisor to Yesh Din’s criminal accountability of Israeli security forces project.

“The disturbing video footage demands vigorous investigation and the immediate prosecution of the soldiers involved. An examination must also be carried out of whether the soldiers’ commanders bear liability for the conduct of their subordinates,” she added.

Read also:
WATCH: IDF soldiers escort settlers attacking Palestinian village
Settler violence: It comes with the territory
Just another day of settler violence, IDF acquiescence

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WATCH: Settlers assault, throw stones at Palestinian farmers http://972mag.com/watch-settlers-assault-hurl-stones-at-palestinian-farmers/98899/ http://972mag.com/watch-settlers-assault-hurl-stones-at-palestinian-farmers/98899/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:32:59 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=98899 The villagers of Ash-Shuyukh have been trying to reach their lands for 10 years — each time they are attacked by settlers. When they arrived there on Saturday, Israeli activists had cameras ready.

Settlers attacked a small group of Palestinian farmers from the village of Ash-Shuyukh who came to work their land near the settlements of Pnei Kedem and Metzad on Saturday.

As can be seen in video filmed by an Israeli activist with Ta’ayush, a direct-action solidarity group, the settlers threw stones and physically assaulted the farmers while a group of soldiers stood between the two and attempted to stop the attackers. The soldiers, however, refrained from detaining the settlers.

“Farmers have been prevented from accessing the land for nearly 10 years,” says Danny Kornberg, an activist with Ta’ayush who witnessed the attack. “They say that every time the settlers come, they either attack the farmers or call the soldiers who detain the farmers for hours. The landowners were granted permission by the court regarding these specific lands, which proved that the land indeed belongs to them. This is the first time that we accompanied them to the area — I hope it isn’t the last.”

The video, which is edited, shows soldiers coming down to the valley and asking for identification documents from the farmers. Eventually the settlers arrive and waste no time before they begin throwing rocks at the farmers and physically assaulting the activists who are filming.

All the while, the settlers yell racist epithets at the Palestinians (“you nasty Arab, you have no right to be here) and demand that the soldiers remove them from the vicinity of the settlement. The soldiers attempt to separate the two groups, but refuse the activists’ demand to detain the attackers. When soldiers witness such acts of settler violence, they can summon the police and detain the settlers until police arrive. In practice, however, that rarely happens.

Eventually the soldiers get confirmation over their radios that the farmers are allowed to work their own land, and the settlers leave.

According to one of the activists in the video, and as confirmed by Peace Now reports, the Pnei Kedem outpost partially sits atop privately owned Palestinian land.

More coverage of settler violence:
Settler violence comes with the territory
Israeli inaction enables settler violence against Palestinians
Settler violence: Think of it like burning down a Jewish business

This article was first published on +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

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[WATCH] Druze refusal in the Israeli army (part 1): A history lesson http://972mag.com/druze-refusal-in-the-israeli-army-part-1-a-history-lesson/98882/ http://972mag.com/druze-refusal-in-the-israeli-army-part-1-a-history-lesson/98882/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 15:11:50 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=98882 According to the mainstream Israeli narrative the Druze population in Israel is loyal to and maintains an alliance with the state, the most famous element of which includes mandatory military service. But is that really the whole story? The first episode in a four-part series looking at Druze in Israel, their relationship with the security forces, social equality and a not-so-new draft refusal movement.

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WATCH: Police spray putrid water on Palestinian homes, schools http://972mag.com/watch-police-spray-putrid-water-on-palestinian-homes-schools/98840/ http://972mag.com/watch-police-spray-putrid-water-on-palestinian-homes-schools/98840/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 18:20:37 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=98840 Two new videos catch a police ‘skunk’ truck spraying East Jerusalem neighborhoods with foul-smelling liquid. The smell was so bad that 4,500 students had to stay home from school.

The “skunk” trucks drives slowly through the neighborhood. It is evening, and there is no evidence of clashes in the area. The truck proceeds slowly, sprays putrid-smelling water on a nearby building, continues on and shoots once again. When it’s all over, the truck has tainted schools, homes, streets – entire neighborhoods – with its unbearable stink. Just like that.

Two videos that were filmed this past week by Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and were given to +972 support claims by residents regarding the inappropriate use of the skunk by the police. In August, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed a complaint to the police regarding multiple cases of the arbitrary use of the skunk, especially at times when there are no protests or clashes. It seems that the police has not changed its ways.

The common understanding among residents and human rights organizations is that the police are collectively punishing Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents, in light of clashes between youth and police in these neighborhoods. But the punishment neither begins nor ends with skunk water; the police block entrances to these neighborhoods with concrete blocks, detains residents for long hours at checkpoints and hands out petty fines – all at the behest of the Jerusalem municipality.

Police use the 'skunk' water canon to disperse protesters in Kafr Kanna, a day after Israeli police fatally shot an Arab man in the village. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Police use the ‘skunk’ water canon to disperse protesters in Kafr Kanna, a day after Israeli police fatally shot an Arab man in the village. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

In the A-Tur neighborhood, the police shot skunk water at four large schools, forcing the parents of 4,500 students to leave their children at home due to the unbearable smell. “It was this past Friday, at around 5:30 p.m.,” says Khader Abu Sabitan, a member of the parents’ committee in the neighborhood. “I was on the road and saw them pass with their machine, and saw how they began shooting water at the school. I’m telling you – there was nothing there. It is Friday at 5:30 in the evening, and there was no one in the school or on the streets. Nothing. Everyone was home. They went to all four schools in the neighborhood, shot the water, and left.”

WATCH: The ‘skunk’ sprays foul-smelling liquid on a school in A-Tur

The skunk water targeted the A-Tur elementary school for boys, the elementary and high school for girls, a high school for boys and the “Basma” elementary school for disabled children. All four schools are located on the neighborhood’s main street.

“After we saw what they did, we told the parents not to send the children to school on Saturday, which is a school day for us. We thought that the municipality would be able to solve the problem by Sunday, since the children didn’t go to school on that day. It wasn’t a strike – we just could not enter the area because of the smell. We sent letters through the teachers on Saturday and Sunday, but no one came. So we brought back the children to school on Monday, and told them to go straight to class ad not linger outside. The smell even permeated the classrooms, but they closed the windows and made do somehow. They stayed inside during the lunch break and then went straight home. It has been a week, and it still smells. Less, but you can still smell it.”

For anyone who has not experienced it, words cannot express the smell of the skunk. The Israeli-developed truck is primarily used by the army in the occupied territories over the past several years, although now it is slowly making its way to Jerusalem and Israel. The strong stench smells like a mix of feces and animal carcass – gagging is almost inevitable.

WATCH: The ‘skunk’ showers putrid water on homes in Jabel Mukaber

The worst part is that there is almost no way to get rid of the smell. Showering doesn’t help, and protesters usually deal with it is by taking a dip in the sea. Objects that have been sprayed with skunk water often smell for much longer periods of time. After being hit with a few drops of skunk water, my camera smelled for nearly half a year.

It is difficult to fathom exactly why such large amounts of skunk water must be sprayed at classrooms and homes, as can be seen in the second video that was filmed in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of Jerusalem. Like in the video from A-Tur, there are no stone throwers or protesters. The police act casually, there are no rocks being thrown in the air, no sounds of explosions, no screaming or bullets that characterize confrontations in East Jerusalem. Just a skunk truck spraying homes.

“The perception of the residents and organizations is that the police uses the skunk routinely, regardless of whether they are dispersing protests, as one can plainly see in the video” Oshrat Maimon, an attorney with the Ir Amim NGO. “The problem is that we don’t even know what the police’s procedure is when it comes to using the skunk. Therefore, we don’t know if the problem is in the procedure itself, or in the lack of implementation. The truth is that we’re a bit helpless in this situation.”

Over the past several weeks, activists from East Jerusalem have met with members of human rights organizations in order to attempt to formulate a response to the actions of the police and municipality. They, however, found it difficult to arrive at a solution. “Our field coordinators say that people are afraid of the police and do not want to provide testimonies,” says Maimon. “Even people who were shot, such as someone was hit with a sponge-tipped bullet in the head or a woman who was shot and her uterus was torn – when our investigators speak with them, they are afraid that if they speak up the police will find its way to them and find a way to harm them.

In response to ACRI’s request, the police responded that the skunk is used according to regulations, but refused to say explain what the regulation says. ACRI has attempted to force the police to publish the regulations vis-a-vis the skunk. Meanwhile in East Jerusalem, the occupation becomes smellier than ever.

+972 asked for a response from Jerusalem Police. Their response will be published here.

Hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis protest collective punishment in East Jerusalem
The hard fact is that Israeli repression works
What Palestinian media is saying about the Jerusalem violence

This article was first published on +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

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Border cop arrested for Nakba Day killing, debunking IDF tales http://972mag.com/border-cop-arrested-for-nakba-day-killing-debunking-idf-tales/98670/ http://972mag.com/border-cop-arrested-for-nakba-day-killing-debunking-idf-tales/98670/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:34:48 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=98670 The arrest appears to prove what footage and family indicated from the start: Live bullets were fired at protestors, unlawfully, as the victims posed no immediate threat.

Screenshot of CNN footage showing what appears to be a Border Police officer shooting at demonstrators in Beitunia on Nakba Day, May 15, 2014. In the video, a puff of smoke and shell can be seen coming from the third-to-left officer’s weapon.

Screenshot of CNN footage showing what appears to be a Border Police officer shooting at demonstrators in Beitunia on Nakba Day, May 15, 2014. In the video, a puff of smoke and shell can be seen coming from the third-to-left officer’s weapon.

A Border Police officer was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of shooting Nadim Syam Nuwara (17) with live ammunition, one of two Palestinian teenagers killed during Nakba Day protests in the West Bank village of Beitunia last May. The border policeman is being charged with murder and his commander is also facing charges for not reporting the incident.

The shootings, which were caught on film by CCTV cameras, showed that the protesters posed no immediate threat to the soldiers at the time they were shot. It was unclear whether the policeman was also implicated in the killing of Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh, 16, who was killed under nearly identical circumstances in the same place on the same day. The investigation into the incident is being conducted by a unit with the police force.

At the time, the IDF insisted that no live bullets were fired, and that it only used crowd dispersal methods (which in the West Bank, includes rubber bullets). Israeli military investigators even claimed that the shots may have been fired by the Palestinian side, rather than by Israeli troops. Some top Israeli officials even went as far as suggesting the video was forged or tendentiously edited.

Although technically part of the Israel Police, the Border Police is often deployed under the command of the IDF in the West Bank. Many Border Police officers are army conscripts.

But the head of the Ramallah emergency room that treated the youths, Dr. Samir Saliba, stated in his medical report at the time that the internal damage and the exit wound could have only been caused by live fire. An autopsy on Nawara’s body, requested by his family, also indicated live fire was used and CNN provided footage that showed a Border Police officer shooting at the exact moment Nawara was shot.

In the CNN video below, a puff of smoke can be seen coming from the weapon of the border policeman third to the left, and a shell can be seen flying from his rifle at minute mark 1:53-1:52.

B’tselem’s initial findings at the time led to the “grave suspicion that forces willfully killed” the two and injured two others.

Responding to news of the arrest on Wednesday, B’Tselem spokesperson Sarit Michaeli told +972 that the authorities are now admitting they provided erroneous information at the time. “We demand an apology from all the politicians and reporters who slandered B’Tselem for providing information and sticking up for the truth from the start.”

The details of the investigation are still under gag order, but according to a report in Haaretz, all the soldiers and police officers investigated at the time denied using live fire.

What led to the arrest Tuesday was a bullet found in Nawara’s backpack, which led investigators to the gun it was fired from. It is unclear why it took six months to make the arrest, since the bullet was provided immediately after the shooting.

Beitunia killings and the media’s incredibly high bar for Palestinian stories
Truth, tapes and two dead Palestinians
Details of Palestinian deaths jeopardize a system of denial

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WATCH: ‘There’s no peace in Jerusalem’ http://972mag.com/watch-theres-no-peace-in-jerusalem/98644/ http://972mag.com/watch-theres-no-peace-in-jerusalem/98644/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:36:16 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=98644 Since before this summer’s war, Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem have been clashing with Israeli police on an almost daily basis. Head of the Issawiya Monitoring Committee explains that the youths are closed in by the wall and have nothing to do but throw stones. ‘This is the terror of the occupation: soldiers chasing children.’

PHOTOS: Protests in Jerusalem over Aqsa Mosque closures
PHOTOS: Fierce clashes in East Jerusalem after police kill young Palestinian
Checkpoints and blood drives: East Jerusalem hospitals cope with clashes

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WATCH: Listening to the ‘Sound of Torture’ http://972mag.com/watch-listening-to-the-sound-of-torture/98269/ http://972mag.com/watch-listening-to-the-sound-of-torture/98269/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:46:56 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=98269 A new Israeli film takes a disturbing look at the torture camps for Eritrean refugees in Sinai, and the Swedish-Eritrean journalist who has devoted herself to exposing the torture victims’ stories and ending their suffering.

A life of forced labor: Why Israel’s Eritrean refugees fled home
Testimony: Sudanese refugee details torture by Sinai smugglers
What the bones remember: Israeli doctors talk torture

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WATCH: Reflections on Gaza — from Likud to ‘Women Waging Peace’ http://972mag.com/watch-reflections-on-gaza-from-likud-to-women-waging-peace/97902/ http://972mag.com/watch-reflections-on-gaza-from-likud-to-women-waging-peace/97902/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:20:58 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=97902 Over a month after this summer’s devastating Gaza war, small groups of Israelis are starting to reflect on what was and what will be. From a debate hosted by the youth wing of Israel’s ruling Likud party to a new group called Women Waging Peace and the Parents Circle forum of bereaved families, Social TV visits with those who are ready to start talking.

Channeling loss to stimulate change: 71 days of dialogue
In my name, in your name, in all of our names

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Re-learning history: A tribute to North Africa’s Jewish artists http://972mag.com/re-learning-history-a-tribute-to-north-africas-jewish-artists/97407/ http://972mag.com/re-learning-history-a-tribute-to-north-africas-jewish-artists/97407/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 15:58:39 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=97407 Though often forgotten in Israel today, some of North Africa’s biggest cultural assets were in fact Jewish. Meet the stars who shaped Maghrebi music, from the classical to the contemporary.

By Ophir Toubul

‘There arose the idea of taking people who have nothing in common. The one lot comes from the highest culture there is — Western European culture — and the other lot comes from the caves.’
— famed Israeli poet, Natan Zach.

I, too, used to think this way, and I imagine that a large part of those who went through the Israeli educational system do too. And then I learned about Maurice el Medioni music. It has been seven years since the miracle – since I began re-learning my own history.

Through Maurice el Medioni I learned about dozens of Jewish musicians who were famous in North Africa, before the establishment of the State of Israel. Musicians who received and continue to receive prizes, who are the subjects of documentaries and are generally considered cultural assets of North African culture. It is redundant to state that most of this recognition takes place outside Israel. In Israel, these musicians were at best ignored – at worst they were ridiculed. The following list will provide an example of some of these artists, many of whom have been active in recent years.

‘Treasures from Jewish-Arab songs’ – compilations from North Africa’s biggest artists. It was released in France in the 00′s:
Cafe Gibraltar

A few months ago, I was honored to be part of a group of 20 people, the first Israelis to watch Les Port Des Amours, a documentary film about singer Reinette l’Oranaise. The film, which took no less than 23 years to reach Israel and was screened by the Institut Francais, follows the legendary blind singer/oud player who was loved by Jews and Muslims alike in her home country of Algeria, specifically due to her deep, inimitable voice and her knowledge of the country’s folk music.

The following clip is the only one I could find from the film on YouTube. We see Reinette arguing with her pianist, Mustafa Sakandari, on the length of the Istikbar – the introduction to the piece. In the subtitles, the word Istikbar is translated as “she refused,” because really, what are the chances that an Israeli translator will recognize and identify a common introduction that appears in every North African folk song.

The 2012 film Al Gusto attempted to create a “Buena Vista” for Algerian musicians. Director Safinez Bousbia walked through the Casbah in Algiers and the streets of Oran looking for the big musicians of the 1950s, when the Sha’abi genre was at its peak popularity in the cafes and hair salons in Algeria’s major cities. She collected them, one by one, including the Jewish ones who were uprooted from Algeria, in an attempt to establish the Al Gusto orchestra. The film follows the new-old orchestra’s tour, which continues across the globe today. Jewish artists such as René Perez, Luke Sharqi and Maurice el Medioni appear in the film, among others.

This film was also screened only a few times in Israel, but never made any big waves. One can find the orchestra’s full concert on YouTube, and clearly see the respect given to the Jewish singers.

‘Most of the Moroccans have not understood the idea of what we call the Western world. Perhaps their development is soon to come, perhaps it is happening now, but whatever they brought from Morocco is nothing to write home about. What did they bring? Mufletot? A culture of tombstones?’ Haim Hefer

A singer like Salim Halali, who was one of the great Jewish singers of North Africa, has a message that goes beyond his beautiful music, a deep message that resonates even today – on the future and the different possibilities that lay before us. Through his complex identity, Halali showed that it was possible for Jews and Arabs to live together, as well as someone who respects and follows religious traditions on the one hand, and a secular Westerner on the other hand. His style blurred the lines between masculinity and femininity, and his music showed how Arab and North African music, tango, flamenco and Jewish Ashkenazi music could live side by side in peace. The film Free Men (2011) tells Halali’s life story, and specifically the story of his rescue from the Nazis after being hidden by an imam in a mosque.

Over the past year in Morocco, a concert was held in honor of Haim Botbol, a singer who I had never heard of until that point. The large concert, which was held as part of a music festival in the city of Essaouira, was also filmed for Moroccan television. Alongside the concert, a catalogue featuring Botbol’s entire catalogue, covers of his records, as well as his life story were released. Had a number of bloggers and record collectors (such as Bashir “Tukdim” and Chris Silver) not brought the tribute concert to my attention, it would have passed me by completely.

And what was the fate of the North African artists who came to Israel? They had two choices: either squeeze themselves into the category of religious music and piyutim, or either stay in the Moroccan cultural ghetto or become a joke outside of it. This is how Sami Elmaghribi, who outside of Israel sang songs such as “Caftanek Mahloul” and established a jazz orchestra, focused on liturgical music in Israel. It is hard to imagine what kind of star Raymond Abakasis would have become had she not come to Israel. Or take Zahra al-Fasia, who was the first woman to be recorded on vinyl in Morocco, about whom poet Erez Biton wrote his famous poem. Jo Amar’s story is unique and complex, and Ron Cahlili dedicated an entire post to his story [Hebrew]. Cheikh Mouizo, Nino Bitton and dozens of others who made music here, who came to Israel with a rich musical past, did not even make it into this text, and were entirely forgotten. In a radio show recorded by Amit Hai Cohen and Reuven Abergil, one of them describes a singer by the name of Braham Swiri, who put out records in his youth yet lived the rest of his life in anonymity and sold his recordings outside the entrance to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market.

‘Every ethnic group brought its own import. The Moroccans brought Mimouna, the Americans brought equality.’ Anat Hoffman, Chairwoman of Women of the Wall.

Dozens of years after the migration from Morocco to Israel, Moroccan culture is starting to undergo a revival. More young people are realizing that we did not come here from caves, and that we brought more than just Mufletot (a thin, crepe-like pancake traditionally eaten by North African Jews during the Mimouna holiday, after Passover). The search for our culture demands effort, but it is easier today due to YouTube and Facebook.

Kobi Peretz’s last album signals an interesting attempt to bring back the Maghrebi sound to Mizrahi music. It started with his hit “C’est La Vie” by Khaled Algerai, and continued with his inclusion of a Sami Elmaghribi classic “Omri Ma Nansak Ya Mama” as a duet with with his father, the singer Peti Armo.

And finally, the gem of the young Maghrebi artists in Israel: Neta Elkayam. A rare singer who pores over the treasures of North African music, and who started a fantastic band that revives that very same music. Just last week we saw her collaborate with Maurice el Medioni in Tel Aviv’s Barby Club, showing us that a different future is possible.

Based on a workshop that took place as part of the 2014 Piyut Festival. Thank you to Khen Elmaleh, Amit Hai Cohen, Amos Noy and Neta Elkayam for the comments. Read this article in Hebrew on Café Gibraltar.

Searching for song and identity, from the Maghreb to the Negev
Finding a place in the Middle East through music

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WATCH: Israeli forces detain 7-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron http://972mag.com/watch-israeli-forces-detain-7-year-old-palestinian-boy-in-hebron/96496/ http://972mag.com/watch-israeli-forces-detain-7-year-old-palestinian-boy-in-hebron/96496/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:51:52 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=96496 Israeli Border Police detained two Palestinian boys aged seven and 12 in the West Bank city of Hebron Monday morning on suspicion of throwing stones.

Before school on Monday, a group of Palestinian youths allegedly threw stones at an Israeli Border Police checkpoint in Hebron. According to International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists who witnessed and filmed the scene, it took some time before the officers came out of their protected position and began making arrests. The ISM activists said there was no certainty that the boys who were detained were in any way connected to the stone throwing.

The children were detained by Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint for around 40 minutes before releasing them. This is not the first time that Israeli soldiers or police have been filmed detaining Palestinian children in Hebron and its surroundings.

In the video, which was shot by ISM activists, the Israeli officers can be seen carrying the seven year old, who at times appears to be crying.

The age of criminal culpability under Israeli military law is 12.

Read +972′s special coverage: Children Under Occupation

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