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Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel

‘Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian Children Imprisoned by Israel’ uncovers one of the most painful experiences that Palestinian children endure in the ongoing Israeli occupation. Through interviews with ex-detainees and mothers of minors presently in detention, the project documents their stories and aims to lend a voice to those who are silenced from fear of negative repercussions.

Text and photos by: Samar Hazboun

Detainee 9: U.D., 10 years old

Over the past 11 years, according to Defence for Children International, some 7,500 children have been detained in Israeli prisons and detention facilities. Muhammad Daoud Dirbas, at the age of six, was the youngest child to have been detained by Israeli soldiers. Such practices are considered illegal under international law, as are other policies that children are subjected to, such as solitary confinement.

I started working on “Detained” about one year ago, because of the lack of visual documentation on the subject. I contacted some human rights organizations, which put me in contact with a few children. Unfortunately, those children refused to be interviewed; having been contacted several times by journalists, they were afraid of repercussions. I then decided to contact people I knew from Palestinian cities like Nablus and Hebron where child detention is most prevalent. Through these friends, I was able to find and contact additional children. Sadly, it was quite easy to find them since it is such a common phenomenon.

In most cases, I found children who suffer from various traumas. Some were not able to talk about what had happened in prison; others burst into tears, and it was sometimes hard for me to hold my own tears back as I was conducting the interviews. Many children agreed to talk to me “off the record”; I thus know their stories but was not able to officially interview them or take their pictures. In some cases, I was able to talk to the parents once the child left the room, and thus obtained more detailed information about how the children were dealing with what had happened to them.

In many cases, the children suffer from insomnia, involuntary urination, nightmares, depression, and fear of going out and facing people. “It is a very humiliating experience for my son. I pray everyday that he forgets about what had happened to him. We avoid talking about it at home because I want him to forget and this is why we prefer not to have journalists in the house,” one mother told me.

All the children I interviewed decided not to take further legal action, out of fear of the repercussions of doing so, and the lack of belief that they will be guaranteed protection.

The following photographs and texts present the stories of the children as they and their families told them to me. It was not possible to independently corroborate all of the facts told by the children and their families. These are their stories, in their words.

Dates, names and places have been changed in order to protect the children’s identities.

Detainee 1: Z.S., 17 years old

Detained 1, Z.S., 17 years old

(Based on an interview with Z.S) 

The house of Z.S. was attacked on a Thursday night at around 2 a.m. with stun grenades and tear gas. Six soldiers broke into his family house and arrested him. The soldiers dragged him to a neighboring settlement 1 kilometer away. During the walk, he was beaten and sworn at by the soldiers. He was left outside in the cold, blindfolded, for two hours.

During the interrogation, he was asked whether he wished to be treated like an animal or a human being. He responded, “like a human being.” He was handcuffed and blindfolded, as the interrogator electrically shocked him several times. He then grabbed his head and banged it against the wall until a second interrogator came in. The interrogator asked him to lie on the ground, and started to kick him until he lost consciousness.

Z.S. was released that same day. He has not filed any complaints for fear of the repercussions of doing so.

Detainee 2: O.T., 10 years old

Detainee 2: O.T., 10 years old

(Based on an interview with O.T. and his family)

O.T. was walking home one evening after playing football. He was followed by an IDF jeep and arrested. He was accused of throwing stones at the jeep. During the interrogation, O.T. was shown a video footage of children throwing stones at soldiers and he was forced to admit that he was amongst them.

He had to sign a document stating that he would pay a fine of NIS 3,000 ($800) if he were “seen” throwing stones again.

Detainee 3: L.R., 8 years old

Detainee 3: L.R., 8 years old

(Based on an interview with L.R. and his family)

L.R. was attacked by a group of soldiers as he was playing with his cousin in his neighborhood. He was dragged by two soldiers by his hands and legs and thrown on the ground. His father and aunt ran quickly towards him as they witnessed this incident. His aunt was shot by a rubber bullet in her leg and his father was pushed to the ground by the soldiers. L.R. was then dragged into the IDF jeep and taken away.

The little boy was interrogated for three hours in the presence of his mother. Since the incident, L.R. suffers from insomnia, involuntary urination and fear of stepping out of the family house.

Detainee 4: O.S., 17 years old

Detainee 4: O.S., 17 years old

(Based on an interview with O.S.)

O.S. was arrested twice for allegedly throwing stones at settlers. The first time, he was released for lack of evidence. The second time O.S. was arrested, he was beaten during the interrogation. The interrogator repeatedly smashed his head against the wall until blood ran from his nose. The court ruled he should be placed under house arrest for two months and pay a fine of NIS 1,000 NIS ($250).

During his court session, O.S. was handcuffed and not allowed to use the toilet or drink any liquids. O.S. is not allowed to travel outside Jerusalem. He is interrogated every time he passes a checkpoint.

Detainee 5: M.K., 18 years old

Detainee 5: M.K., 18 years old

(Based on an interview with M.K)

M.K. was accused of belonging to a militant group. He was arrested from his family home and held in prison for 18 months. The youth spent 45 days of the 18 months in solitary confinement with his legs and hands tied together. Various methods of torture were used on him, including sleep deprivation and emotional blackmail.

When M.K. was moved out of solitary confinement, he endured group punishment. He was not allowed any visits during that period, nor was he allowed access to the prison canteen.

During the raid to arrest M.K., his house was attacked by tear gas and stun grenades. As a result, his neighbor’s daughter lost hearing in one ear.

M.K. is not allowed to leave the city of Nablus for the next six years.

Detainee 6: I.B., 16 years old

Detainee 6: I.B., 16 years old

(Based on an interview with I.B.)

I.B.’s cousin was shot dead at an Israeli checkpoint in Nablus at the age of 15. The soldiers suspected he was wearing an explosives belt because of a wire connected to his ear. It later transpired that it was a mobile phone earpiece.

In order to commemorate his cousin, I.B. decided to print posters of his cousin and paste them on the walls of his neighborhood. This was considered a crime by the IDF.

I.B. spent four days in prison and 18 days in a solitary confinement cell. He was not able to finish his studies after his imprisonment.

Detainee 7: Z.B., 17 years old at the time of his arrest

Detainee 7: Z.B., 17 years old at the time of his arrest

(Based on an interview with Z.B.’s mother, pictured above)

Z.B.’s family was asked by soldiers to immediately evacuate their house with no prior notice. During the raid on his house, all of the family’s furniture was broken into pieces.

When the soldiers finished raiding the house, one soldier twisted his arms while the second blindfolded him. He and his cousin were arrested. They were accused of belonging to a Hamas group.

Z.B. has been in prison for nine years now. He is not allowed any family visits.

Detainee 8: N.A., 18 years old

Detainee 8: N.A., 18 years old

(Based on an interview with N.A.)

N.A. was arrested during a night raid on his house. He was blindfolded and taken to a detention center in Petah Tikva. He was put in a small cell with no windows except a small hole in the ceiling. He was held there for four days before he was interrogated.

During the interrogation, he was sat handcuffed on a chair under what he describes as an air-conditioner that was used to drastically increase or decrease the temperature.

After spending 35 days in solitary confinement N.A. decided to admit to something he had not done in order to be taken for trial.

He recalls a prisoner in a neighboring cell setting himself and his mattress on fire as he was given a cigarette.

As an ex-detainee, N.A. says he finds it hard to find a decent job or live a “normal” life.

Detainee 9: U.D., 10 years old

Detainee 9: U.D., 10 years old

(Based on an interview with U.D. and his family)

U.D. found himself accidentally caught in clashes between a group of Jerusalem locals and IDF soldiers as he was walking home with his cousin from a football game. To avoid the clashes, he started running in the opposite direction but a soldier spotted him and ran after him. Once the soldier caught him, he was pushed to the floor, kicked and punched several times.

U.D. was taken to a detention center where he was held for five hours.

Detainee 10: M.O., 12 years old

Detainee 10: M.O., 12 years old

(Based on an interview with M.O. and his family)

M.O. has been detained seven times so far. The first time, he was arrested at the age of only nine years for allegedly throwing stones at settlers.

M.O.’s family is constantly targeted by settler attacks as they live in Hay al Bustan in Silwan. Their house is slated for demolition as a part of an Israeli plan targeting the homes Arab citizens in Jerusalem.

Settler attacks are very common in that area. M.O. was attacked by settlers and beaten up. He suffered from internal bleeding due to the brutality of the attack.

Detainee 11: F.K., 14 years old

Detainee 11: F.K., 14 years old

(Based on an interview with F.K. and his family)

The first time F.K. was arrested, he was detained for three days. His parents were not provided any information until the third day. The second time he was arrested was during his final exam period, when he was taken out of his house for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails. He was undressed and left standing in his underwear for two hours before he was taken for an interrogation at 3 a.m. He was put in a cell afterwards, until the next day.

During the interrogation, two soldiers with bats were brought into the room, with which they hit him all over his body, he says.

F.K. does not want to recall the words the interrogator used whilst questioning him. He says the language was beyond humiliating.

Detainee 12: M.A., 13 years old

Detainee 12: M.A., 13 years old

(Based on an interview with M.A. and his family)

On December 5, 2010 M.A. was arrested at 2 a.m. from his family house. He was accused of damaging settler cars and throwing stones in Al-Ram, according to the Israeli charges.

M.A. lives in Hebron and told the military court that he did not know where Al-Ram was. The judge later declared that the initial report had a spelling mistake, as Al-Ram was mistakenly written instead of Hebron.

When M.A. was arrested, he was severely beaten. As a result of the torture he underwent during his time in detention, his trial had to be postponed because of the visible bruises on his head and body.

The child was not allowed any visits during his detention. The court ruled to release him on bail of NIS 5,000 ($1,300), in addition to placing him under house arrest.

Detainee 13: Y.K., 15 years old

Detainee 13: Y.K., 15 years old

(Based on an interview with Y.K.’s family)

On January 28, 2011 Y.K. went with his father to the fields of the farm they own, which is located next to an Israeli settlement. The family was attacked that day by armed settlers who shot Y.K. in the head. He later died.

His younger brother, 14, was arrested and detained for 45 days.

Detainee 14: B.A., 15 years old

Detainee 14: B.A., 15 years old

(Based on an interview with B.A.’s mother)

In 2011, B.A. was arrested for the first time. Shortly after his release, he fell ill and was hospitalized. During his stay at the hospital, the IDF went to his house to arrest him, as he was on a wanted list. When they did not find him, they arrested his brother instead.

The soldiers offered to release his brother in exchange for B.A., threatening to raid the hospital. The ”exchange” operation took place at 6 a.m. and was filmed with the presence of medical staff.

B.A. is in detention and has attended eight court hearings for participating in a peaceful protest against the occupation. Under Israeli military law, all Palestinian protests are illegal.

He is not allowed any family visits.

Related reading:
Hope ends here: The children’s court at Ofer Military Prison
In the West Bank, there is no justice, even for children

________________________
Documentary photographer and visual artist Samar Hazboun centers her main body of work around women’s rights, with a particular focus on the Middle East. Born in Jerusalem and raised in the West Bank, Hazboun first explored photography while pursuing a degree in International Relations in Prague. Over the past eight years, her authentic interest in political expression through art and her personal relationship with the Palestinian case has led her to successfully fuse subject matter and medium into a budding practice of photojournalism. Hazboun’s career has developed hand-in-hand with her ability to reach out to those who have been marginalized by society. With more than 30 solo shows and group exhibitions in over eight countries, and a wide variety of features in the media, she has persistently sought to give a voice to her projects and engage an ever-broadening public with stories desperately in need of an audience. Since receiving her MA in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster in London in 2011, Hazboun has been working on a series of exhibitions of her latest ongoing body of work, Hush. She currently splits her time living and working in Europe, Latin America and Palestine. Visit her website (samarhazboun.com) and follow her on Twitter (@Samar_Hazboun).

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  • COMMENTS

    1. I know of at least one detention involving a child younger than six. In summer 2011 five-year-old Yahya al-Rishaq was arrested in Silwan. A minor point though.

      Thanks for this project. I hope talking to you and taking part in the photography was helpful to the kids.

      Reply to Comment
    2. This shoddy journalism with an obvious agenda from an activist website is what brings the JTA into serious disrepute. No confirmatory evidence. Zero contextualisation. It is nothing other than ammunition for Israel’s enemies. What possible motivation can a site which purports to have Jewish interests at heart have for publishing such vile propaganda?

      Reply to Comment
      • Palestinian

        You are dealing with one of Israel’s worst enemies , morality.

        Warning :You may not find it in your dictionary.

        Reply to Comment
        • Hannah

          Interesting, could you please elaborate on the morality of the palestinians?

          Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            After you elaborate on the morality of the “only democracy” in the region.
            Massacres ,false flag attacks, ethnic cleansing,physical and sexual abuse,torture,humiliation,oppression,land theft , water theft,organ harvesting and theft,robberies,night raids , home demolitions,uprooting trees,……

            Arent you ashamed of yourself?Oops “shame” another word that may not exist in your dictionary.

            Reply to Comment
          • Israeli

            When you simply state that all Israelies\Jews don’t have morality or shame in their dictionary, how do you expect people that do have morality to help you change he situation. The Palestinians have some moral issues themselves – I suggest you rethink your vision of the world and try earning allies and not more enemies. Don’t be racist.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            I never said “all Israelis” or “all Jews “are so and so but people like Mike and Hannah have absolutely no shame.Its a fact that the majority of Israelis support occupation and land theft ,they never question the morality of their beloved state and they are always ready to hasbarize (thats not even a verb).

            Reply to Comment
      • Last year Shovrim Shtika published a booklet of Israeli soldiers’ testimony on child detention: http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Children_and_Youth_Soldiers_Testimonies_2005_2011_Eng.pdf

        The previous year, 2011, a team of visiting UK jurists carried out a comparative analysis of the treatment of Israeli minors under Israeli civil law and of Palestinian minors under Israeli military law. They interviewed Israeli government officials and military prosecutors, as well as lawyers who represent detained children and, of course, ex-child detainees themselves. The result was the report ‘Children in Military Custody’: http://www.childreninmilitarycustody.org/

        That report simply provides the technical legal context for the stories that Defence for Children International has been gathering for years (available on the DCI-Palestine site.) The soldier testimonies give some detail to the picture. This photo project of Samar Hazboun simply adds the faces. It tells us nothing new, nothing that isn’t already out there, documented by everyone from former soldiers to observers in the military courts. I work in child and adolescent mental health, and reading her description of the young people’s psychological symptoms, I saw nothing dramatic or exaggerated – just another day in Hebron. This is what those children face and this is how they are afterwards. There isn’t any context that could make it look better, although I do understand the urge to try and find some. Projects like this pose a serious ethical challenge: hunt round for justifications that will satisfy you, or be prepared to at least consider that Israeli policy is not as just and fair as you might have thought it to be before now. The second option is difficult and painful for a lot of people, but when you realise that choosing the former means prioritising personal comfort and peace of mind over vulnerable children, it becomes easier.

        Reply to Comment
      • The Israeli authorities have been getting a little hot under the collar because child detention and what happens to the children during detention have been receiving greater attention over the past twelve months or so. The JPost article (written by a founder of the charmingly named International Coalition of Hasbara Volunteers) is simply an attempt to shift the discussion away from child maltreatment and abusive soldiers. The opening line reveals as much.

        It’s not going to work. According to investigations conducted by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (who, unlike the Coalition of Hasbara Volunteers, have child welfare as their very reason for existing) there is no systematic recruitment of minors as combatants in Palestine. These people are thorough in their research and meticulous with their data. Trying to paint shackled hooded children who have been beaten up in the night as ‘child soldiers’ whose real victimisers are sinister shadowy recruiters will achieve nothing except to make you look like an apologist for child abuse, and you already did that so efficiently the last time +972 covered child detention (excerpts from a book of interviews with soldiers) that I don’t think there can be much more to add.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          @Vicky

          “..an attempt to shift the discussion away from child maltreatment and abusive soldiers.”

          At least there IS a discussion about child maltreatment by abusive Israeli soldiers.

          There’s no discussion whatsoever on Palestinians recruiting boy soldiers in violation of the Rome Statutes.

          Why’s that Vicky?

          Reply to Comment
          • As I have pointed out, an international child welfare organisation specialising in this area recorded that there was no systematic child recruitment in the OPT when they investigated. Defence for Children International collaborated with CSUCS to do further research on this, and also reported no child soldiering. It isn’t possible to have a discussion on what isn’t happening. Meanwhile, army child detention happens on a routine and regular basis, with between 500-700 children being taken into military custody every year on average, and abuse being a routine and regular feature of the arrests. The attention it has been receiving hasn’t come a moment too soon. It is essential that we get some legal protections in place for these children.

            This is where your excuse-making falls down. Even supposing that two specialist children’s rights and rehabilitation organisations were wrong in their assessment of the situation, and there really was a wave of child soldier recruitment happening in Palestine, this would not explain the midnight arrests, the leg irons, the beatings, the bloody noses, the kids who soil themselves in fear and are then left to sit in their own crap, the typical absence of a parent and a lawyer during interrogation, the arrests of children as young as five and children with disabilities, the fact that children are subject to the military court in the first place. If these were child soldiers, they would need rehabilitation, not punishment. You are plucking at this fantastical idea and using it to justify flat-out abuse, which it could never justify even if it were true.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Please look up the following article in Wikipedia:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_suicide_bombers_in_the_Israeli%E2%80%93Palestinian_conflict

            There is a relatively long list of children being recruited and used as “soldiers” or specifically in this case as bombers by various Palestinian groups including the Tanzim/al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, PFLP and Islamic Jihad. Note that this is just a list of those caught in the act of trying to launch bombing attacks, children recruited for other types of attacks is not included in that page.

            I don’t know what the “Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers” researched, but numerous examples of children being recruited by militant groups to carry out terrorist attacks would certainly place into some doubt the conclusions you claimed they reached.

            Reply to Comment
          • K9, CSUC is mentioned in the Wikipedia article you linked to, plus a quotation from one of the reports they issued in the years of the Second Intifada: “There was no evidence of systematic recruitment of children by Palestinian armed groups.”

            CSUC acknowledges that some use of children is common to all conflicts in all parts of the world, but what they look for is a pattern of sustained and systematic recruitment. They don’t have the capacity to deal with sporadic and very small-scale recruitment, and feel that this is best handled in other ways.

            Secondly, the children who are routinely arrested by the Israeli military are usually held on a charge of stone-throwing (which they may or may not have done – by soldiers’ own report, it is not easy to establish if a child has thrown stones, and we know that arrests take place purely as a deterrent). The kids are not being incited and organised to throw stones, and this does not qualify as child soldiering under any meaningful definition of the term.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            @Vicky

            Funny you mention DCI, for the wrote:

            ‘The recruitment and use of children in armed conflict is prohibited under international law. . ….In the context of the military occupation of the Palestinian Territory, both Israel and Palestinian armed groups frequently violate the prohibition.’

            So like I just said, Palestinians violate the prohibition.

            http://www.dci-palestine.org/theme/child-recruitment

            Reply to Comment
          • It’s not funny I mention DCI at all, as I rely on them pretty heavily in my own work and I read all their publications as they come out. First, see my response to K9. Second, you should actually read the contents of the page that you linked to rather than just copying and pasting a pull quote without investigating any further. Over the past seven or eight years DCI has documented twenty-six incidents of children being used by Palestinian armed groups in auxiliary roles, but no evidence of forceful conscription or active recruitment of minors. While those twenty-six children require rehabilitation and care (which thankfully DCI is good at providing) it’s a low figure and doesn’t denote a systemic problem. Nor does it account for the hundreds of children who enter Israeli military custody every year or explain the abuse they face there.

            The latest update (dated today) on the DCI page you link to is about the army’s use of Palestinian children as human shields. Looking down the list of past articles on there, I’m surprised that you’re directing people here, as none of it seems like the kind of information you are exactly keen to disseminate. But all to the good.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ed

            Thanks Vicky for your well documented, expert comments. The most powerfull weapon to fight injustice is the painfull truth. Luckily there is more and more research and evidence to expose the evil practises of the occupation. Apart from the fact the the occupation itself is immoral and illegal according to international law (o.a. resolution 242), it is also illegal to move a civilian population into occupied territory. These settlements are however part of the ethnic cleansing policy which is adopted by Israel since it’s founding in 1948. This is also a fact confirmed by consensus among historians among which many Israeli.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            nsttnocontentcomment

            Reply to Comment
      • Leen

        Quite frankly, I support opening a tribunal for both Palestine and Israel. So the Israeli interrogators and Palestinian recruiters can be charged for war crimes.

        If you want to talk about war crimes, I am sure you are aware the war crimes on all sides, however more so on the Israeli side because of its position as an occupying force.

        But it is almost ironic that you mention ‘recruiting child soldiers’ is a war crime. I guess you are aware that children enjoy a special protected position that exempts them from being persecuted. Thus detaining them and subjecting them to torture could also constitute a war crime.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >I guess you are aware that children enjoy a special protected position that exempts them from being persecuted.

          Underage criminals are just that – criminals.

          >Thus detaining them and subjecting them to torture could also constitute a war crime.

          You wish.

          Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            CHildren in armed conflict and under occupation have special protected rights, regardless of what they have done.

            Which is why children in the Rwanda genocide, even if they have participated in the genocide are not liable to any criminal persecution and were not brought in the tribunal. In fact, the UN continuously pressured the government to release the child soldiers and children who have participated in the genocide to be released because they are under special protection and have different rights than say adult participants.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Said above does not mean that children could/should be allowed to take part in hostilities.

            Know what? I could even agree that the way IDF treats Arab children is not acceptable.

            Can you draw up a proper code of behaviour?

            What IDF should do to prevent Palestinian Arab children from throwing stones at Jews?

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            ‘Can you draw up a proper code of behaviour?

            What IDF should do to prevent Palestinian Arab children from throwing stones at Jews?’

            Well, consulting with international law experts and children rights orgs is a start. While they are at, they can aslo reign in the settler kids not to throw stones at Palestinians.

            Ironic we have mentioned child soldiers though because Israel has been also accused of using Palestinian children in military exercises, either as human sheilds or informers, which falls under the ‘use of children in armed conflict’ protocol.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Well, consulting with international law experts and children rights orgs is a start.

            No comprehensible answer, as expected.

            Apparently, that is because you know perfectly well that there is no way to achieve it, but by use of overwhelming force.

            >While they are at, they can aslo reign in the settler kids not to throw stones at Palestinians.

            Arabs have an age-old tradition of stoning Jews. Why is that wrong that Jews would have the same tradition?

            >Ironic we have mentioned child soldiers though because Israel has been also accused of using Palestinian children in military exercises, either as human sheilds or informers, which falls under the ‘use of children in armed conflict’ protocol.

            Since underage Palestinian Arabs are willingly taking part in hostilities, I suppose that there is nothing too much wrong that they would be used by both sides.

            Reply to Comment
          • “I could even agree that the way IDF treats Arab children is not acceptable.”

            There are contradictions at work here. You make this statement, but then go on to say that the children are just criminals and terrorists and to state the need for ‘overwhelming force’ against them, as well as defending practices such as using them as human shields. What exactly is it about army conduct that you don’t accept, and why? What do you think the army should be doing differently? I don’t expect you to answer here, but it might be good for you to think it through in your own time.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >There are contradictions at work here.

            No contradictions at all.

            >You make this statement, but then go on to say that the children are just criminals and terrorists and to state the need for ‘overwhelming force’ against them

            Children who are willingly committing crimes are criminals.

            No means are too harsh to prevent criminals from committing crimes.

            >as well as defending practices such as using them as human shields.

            Employment of human shield saves lives on both sides.

            >What exactly is it about army conduct that you don’t accept, and why?

            Yesterday’s children should not be chasing and handling undreage wannabe terrorists. But there is no-one else to do the job, which normally should be the burden of parents.

            >What do you think the army should be doing differently?

            Set up closed institutions to detain and educate stone-throwers there.

            But something tells me that Palestinian Arabs would rather have their children in Israeli prisons than in educational institutions.

            >I don’t expect you to answer here, but it might be good for you to think it through in your own time.

            I’ve been thinking about this issue for quite a few years now. Ever since my friend in Haifa was stabbed by in his heart by an underage Arab over some “honour” dispute.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Alex

      Lies, more lies, and more bias. Shame to JTA for profiling this vile slander!

      Reply to Comment
    4. Nothing makes me sadder that friends and supporters of Israel who sure beyond a shadow of doubt that Israel can no wrong; any story about Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians must be a lie; all Arabs are liars who want to kill Jews; true Zionists would never question Israeli foreign policy or dehumanization of the Palestinians living under military occupation.

      Judaism is about truth, justice and compassion. Out humanity is not measure by how we treat our friends but how we treat our enemies. I’m not the enemy of Israel or the Jewish people for saying all this, those who insist on look at Israel through rose-colored glasses do it and Judaism a terrible disservice.

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        @Mitchell

        Nothing makes me sadder that friends and supporters of Palestine who sure beyond a shadow of doubt that Palestinians can no wrong.

        A three year old now lies in a coma due to a car accident caused by stone throwers.
        A father and his son died two years ago in a similar incident.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ed

          Don’t start getting into a body count. You will lose big time.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Yes, thank g-d.

            But you are sorry that so little Jews are killed, aren’t you?

            Reply to Comment
    5. “M.A. lives in Hebron and told the military court that he did not know where Al-Ram was. The judge later declared that the initial report had a spelling mistake, as Al-Ram was mistakenly written instead of Hebron.” : I know it is rather silly at this point, but an indictment failing the primary facts is supposed to be void. The judge should have released M.A. without constraints on this alone. The Israeli security apparatus is so terrified of making a mistake that they have blotted the word from their vocabulary.

      What happens in the early years stays with you powerfully. The Judaic Diaspora knows this well.

      Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        Well, Greg, if you know anything about official Israeli culture then a little mistake, like a name on an indictment, isn’t going to get in the way of “Israeli justice.” For example, if the Israel Electric Corp. or Tel Aviv Municpality have the wrong mailing address, and you repeatedly inform them of your current address they will still freeze your bank account, prevent you from leaving Israel (ee’kool yetzia), and make your life a misery until you pay up without having seen a bill or knowing what it is you’re paying for. Only after you’ve paid will they deign to send you the bills to the right mailing address (maybe) so that you can challenge any wrong billing (yea right). So if that is the type of official abuse an Israeli first-class citizen (ie, Jewish, Israeli-born) can suffer just imagine what it must be like Palestians

        Reply to Comment
        • Thanks for this. I’m coming late to it, but I’m beginning to see a generally malformed system of Israeli justice. However, there are many Catch-22′s in the US as well; but not on indictments, because the judiciary is truly independent.

          Needless to say, the Palestinian justice system will be no better. But, in justice, comparative superiority is no measure at all.

          Reply to Comment
    6. Mike

      I think soldiers should not handle children. This is a job for the police. The police is better trained for it.
      Unfortunately, arresting juveniles is a necessity. They are a part of the conflict, and actually a very active part of it. However I believe that the soldiers, who are not much older than these kids themselves, are ill equipped to deal with these complicated situations.

      Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        Apparently you’ve never encountered the Israeli Police…

        Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        Ill equipped to arrest is an euphemism. In my book we are talking among others about killing, shooting, torture and hostage taking of children. As far as I can see approved at the highest levels of the Israeli state.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Terrorism must be suppressed. Age of terrorists is of really little concern.

          Reply to Comment
        • Leen

          Isn’t it ironic how these children as young as 5 are abducted, tortured for ‘suspecting’ a crime of ‘stone throwing’?

          While the Boston bomber suspect was handled by the police, was hospitalized because of injuries (notice the military was NOT involved at any time), has already been appointed a defense lawyer and his MIRANDA rights were suspended for 48 hours?

          Apparently, even terrorists are treated better than Palestinian kids.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Apparently, even terrorists are treated better than Palestinian kids.

            Terrorists are not attacking USA many times every day.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            So you work at the CIA/FBI I presume? If so, how do you know that people aren’t attacking US soil, consulates, embassies, bases, etc every day?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            You are welcome to name one ethnicity/nationality which is actively working to dismantle USA.

            Obviously, I won’t have to name an ethnicity/nationality which is working to dismantle Israel, would I?

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Although I have to admit, I have never seen such a ridiculous justificiation for torturing and detaining Palestinian kids. ‘But you see TERRORISTS don’t try to blow up Boston every day, that’s why a Palestinian 8 year old is treated so badly compared to a Boston terrorist bomber’.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            The State of Israel is doing whatever in can to prevent terrorist (yes, throwing stones IS a form of terrorism) attacks against Israeli citizens – civilians and soldiers alike.

            If it includes detaining and oppressing underage wannabe-terrorists, it is the fault of their (wannabe terrorists’) parents/community, not anyone else.

            Reply to Comment
    7. Bravo Samar Hazboun! I admire and respect your effort even though this is only the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Still yet, to bring forth and publish what we as Palestinians know very well takes place is admirable. Keep up the good work. Israeli state terrorism against children is one of the darkest chapters in human history.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Cynical use of children by Palestinian Arab terrorists truly is one of darkest pages in human history.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Dino

      “Internationalize the issue of the political prisoners and turn to the International Criminal Court”, Samer Issawi

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        “Internationalize the issue of the convicted Palestinian Arab terrorists and turn to the International Criminal Court”, The Trespasser

        Reply to Comment
    9. Luis Rodos

      Existe un muy afín paralelismo entre lo sucedido en la Shoa y lo que hace el gobierno israelí con la gente palestina.

      Reply to Comment
    10. to all those that is changing the course of palestinian plight to suit your pupetted interest, remember, what if this stood between your wall? i think you will be clunching your fist for the so called international law who looked deep not into your plight.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Ron Grant

      Shameful.Jews should know better.

      Reply to Comment
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