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WATCH: IDF detains Palestinian children and foreign citizen in Hebron

On Sunday, three Palestinian boys were detained by the IDF in Hebron, along with a Swedish activist who seems to have tried to calmly prevent their arrests. (Footage of the arrest is below, and highly disturbing to watch). According to the International Solidarity Movement, who put out a report on Sunday and has since been updating, the children were released a few hours later, but the Swede is still being held and attempts are being made to deport him.

According to sources from Youth Against Settlements and B’Tselem with whom I spoke, the children were detained because settlers from the extremist Beit Hadassah settlement inside Hebron complained to the IDF that they had thrown stones. One of the children is only 10, the others 11 and 12 (the age of criminal responsibility is 12).

Issa Amro, a Palestinian activist with Youth Against Settlements who has been arrested countless times for organizing and engaging in peaceful protests in Hebron’s Tul Rumeida area where he lives, told me that the arrest of children by the IDF has become a regular “phenomenon” in Hebron. He says the IDF is “pro-settler,” often arresting Palestinian residents, whether children or adults, simply because settlers tell them to – regardless of whether there is any evidence against them. He also points out that settlers are almost never detained after they throw stones, even when the soldiers are standing right there. Issa added: “These arrests do not stop violence, on the contrary, they feed violence more and more in the long term.”

According to Ynet, the Swedish activist was arrested because he tried to steal a soldier’s weapon and resisted arrest – however the first video below makes both those accusations appear false, although he clearly made an effort to stop the soldiers from taking the children. (It is also well known that the IDF tries to deport foreign citizens living and documenting life in the West Bank). I contacted the IDF Spokesperson several times in recent days to hear its side of the story, but have yet to receive a response.

According to B’Tselem, the children were investigated at the Kiryat Arba police station with an adult present, and released 3-4 hours later. The Swedish activist is reportedly still in Israeli custody and trying to avoid deportation.

The first video below, published by Youth Against Settlement, shows one of the children and the Swede being arrested. Below that is a video filmed by an member of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) showing the arrest of one of the other children at the same time. Needless to say they are very disturbing, and no one in Israeli media is giving it any attention.

Related:
WATCH: Israeli soldiers stand by, escort settlers as they attack Palestinian villages

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Such arrests are purely to quell behavior on one “side,” through intemidation. I think the activist, above, is right that ultimately the asymmetric nature of arrests will ultimately induce a community violent response. I see no solution to Hebron at all, given the religious definitions.

      The Swede’s voice does not exist; he is simply an object in the way of soldiers doing their duty tour. American police would react similarly, although perhaps not arrest.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      Is it me, or do the soldiers seem to be pygmies? Both soldiers who arrest the Swede are at least a foot shorter than him, and he doesn’t seem to be especially tall.

      Maybe this can explain the reason for Israel’s problems in the last few years – inbreeding, especially among the religious and nationalist elements. That may partly explain why these soldiers are so short, stupid and ugly.

      Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        I hope I missed the irony. I do not think your comment is one to be proud about.

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          I’m merely stating a conjecture of mine concerning reasons for Israel’s behavior.

          If there’s anything not to be proud about it is Israel itself.

          Reply to Comment
          • Oriol2

            They look short, stupid and ugly because soldiers in that situation, dressed like that and acting like that tend to look stupid and ugly, and perhaps even short. No racist garbage, please, Israelis are oppressing the Palestinian people as a result of an unfortunate historical situation, and of the political structures upon which the State of Israel itself is based. Israeli people are so good (or bad) as any other. In fact, Israelis are one of the warmest people I have ever met (and Israeli women are among the most beautiful and charming in the whole world, if I am allowed to say so). But what they have done and keep doing to the Palestinians is wrong, and no measure of human warm and female beauty will compensate for that.

            Reply to Comment
          • The conflict makes at least me want to lash out at times–say something biting that seem to have an effect as I write. Such are almost always wrong and couterproductive. One reason I use my real name with site traceback is to limit this tendency, although I have nonetheless popped off. I’m not saying others should do that, but it is one reason I do. Objectively, my presence here is meaningless; I use my name to remind me of that.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >… my presence here is meaningless;

            I would not quite agree with this claim.

            Reply to Comment
    3. The Trespasser

      Good to know that foreigners are supporting Palestinian Arab children’s right to throw stones at Israelis.

      Reply to Comment
      • Oriol2

        Well, Trespasser, perhaps foreigners are supporting the right of children in occupied territories to throw stones against the soldiers of the occupying power, and against civilians which are practically fulfilling military roles -I mean of course the settlers in places like Hebron-. You see, now it sounds very different.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          “In former times–and in remote places even today–it was common for Muslim schoolboys to stone Jews. When the Turks conquered Yemen in 1872, an envoy was sent from the Chief Rabbi of Istanbul to inquire what grievance the Yemenite Jews had against their neighbors. It is indicative that the first thing of which they complained was this molestation by the schoolboys. But when the Turkish Governor asked an assembly of notables to stop this nuisance, there arose an old doctor of Muslim law and explained that this stone-throwing at Jews was an age-old custom (in Arabic ‘Ada) and therefore it was unlawful to forbid it.”

          Jews and Arabs: Their Contacts Through the Ages by Shelomo Dov Goitein * , 1955

          It sounds the same since well before 1872 – Arab children have an inherent right to throw stones at Jews. The only difference that now it is supported not only by their families but also by foreigners.

          Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            And it’s also right for an Arab to stab a Jew to death so long as that Arab’s family honor is restored.

            Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        These same soldiers will not only stand by but protect settler kids when they throw stones at Palestinians.

        I guess you would have no problem with that and might even say that the settler kids have the right to do whatever they want to Palestinians.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trepasser

          >I guess you would have no problem with that and might even say that the settler kids have the right to do whatever they want to Palestinians.

          Since Palestinian Arabs have an inherent right to do whatever they want to Jews (throw stones, exploding in buses) I see why Jews should be stripped from similar rights.

          Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            Hmm.. let’s see, that’s a tricky one. Perhaps because it is unambigously Palestinian land under international law – whereas the settlers are unambiguously illegal.

            The former can therefore be seen as defensive, the latter only oppressive – they simply shouldn’t be there. And say whatever you like, the settlers inside the West Bank are all illegal. Period.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            That said, throwing stones, shouting abuse and blocking roads is pretty stupid whoever is doing it. Sadly the IDF ignores such actions when they’re being done by settlers inside their protected bubbles, such as in Old Hebron.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Hmm.. let’s see, that’s a tricky one.

            Yeah. Tricky.

            >Perhaps because it is unambigously Palestinian land under international law – whereas the settlers are unambiguously illegal.

            And what exactly is “Palestinian” land under international law? Could you draw its borders? Can you have anyone signed on your map?

            >The former can therefore be seen as defensive

            Yeah. And in Yemen it was defensive too.

            >the latter only oppressive – they simply shouldn’t be there.

            There – where? Can you draw lines within which Jewish state can exist without any objections from our counterparts?

            >And say whatever you like, the settlers inside the West Bank are all illegal. Period.

            What you are saying is that attacks inside Israel (post-yom-kippur war borders) are illegal, while inside WB and Gaza strip Arabs can do what they please.

            Am I getting you right?

            >That said, throwing stones, shouting abuse and blocking roads is pretty stupid whoever is doing it.

            If it is not too stupid for Arabs, it is not too stupid for Jews.

            >Sadly the IDF ignores such actions when they’re being done by settlers inside their protected bubbles, such as in Old Hebron.

            That’s a bit of a nonsense. IDF is brought to protect Israeli civilians, not to act as a neutral peacekeeping force.

            Oh, so Jews in Hebron are illegal too? Where else? East Jerusalem? West Jerusalem too? Temple Mount, maybe?
            Petah Tikwa?

            You really should come up with some definite borders for Jewish and Arab states.

            p.s. Here – have an idea for new campaign:
            Draw map for Jewish and Arab states, and make citizens of Israel and future Palestinian state sign for it.
            With any luck you’d be able to collect few millions of signatures and put and end to this conflict.

            Just think about it – you’d get the bloody Nobel Peace Prize.
            Not that it is too noble now, after being handled to terrorists Arafat, Rabin, Peres and Obama.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            >And what exactly is “Palestinian” land under international law? Could you draw its borders? Can you have anyone signed on your map?

            It actually doesn’t matter exactly where the borders are, unless you are claiming that there is no right for Palestinians to own land or self determination. The former is a matter of discussion/negotiation, the latter a right.

            >There – where? Can you draw lines within which Jewish state can exist without any objections from our counterparts?

            The 1967 green line. As acknowledged by every international grouping and most countries, including the EU, USA and the UK.

            >What you are saying is that attacks inside Israel (post-yom-kippur war borders) are illegal, while inside WB and Gaza strip Arabs can do what they please.

            Pretty much, yes. That is the nature of being a country, isn’t it. If you think you can enforce your law on other peoples’ land (who reject your national authority), you are tacitly claiming that their land is part of your country, in which case they should have full rights as citizens. In which case the IDF have no reason to treat Jewish settlers any differently to Arabs. If it isn’t their land, they are illegal occupiers. Take whichever option you like best.

            >Oh, so Jews in Hebron are illegal too? Where else? East Jerusalem? West Jerusalem too? Temple Mount, maybe? Petah Tikwa?

            All of the West Bank is occupied Palestinian land, all of Jerusalem is disputed land. Maybe you’ve not noticed.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >It actually doesn’t matter exactly where the borders are

            If there are no definite borders, than on what basis can you claim that presence of certain people is illegal at one place or another?

            >unless you are claiming that there is no right for Palestinians to own land

            Right to work on state lands is not the same as private ownership of the land and could be revoked by a state without any compensation.

            >or self determination.

            In 1919 Palestinian Arabs had self-determined that they do not wish to coexist with Jews on equal basis.
            In 1947, 2000, 2002 and 2008 Palestinain Arabs had self-determined that they do not wish to declare own state.

            Their right of self-determination is implemented fully – they have exactly what they wanted to. By what logic it is Israel’s fault?

            >The 1967 green line.

            There is no such thing.

            >As acknowledged by every international grouping and most countries, including the EU, USA and the UK.

            International groups and other countries are of very little concern until majority of Palestinian Arabs and their leadership acknowledge it, which had not took place so far.

            >Pretty much, yes. That is the nature of being a country, isn’t it.

            What country? Palestine had only received some kind of international recognition less than a year ago.

            >If you think you can enforce your law on other peoples’ land (who reject your national authority), you are tacitly claiming that their land is part of your country, in which case they should have full rights as citizens.

            Yeah, it’s called annexation. East Jerusalem, for example, was annexed, all its population was granted Israeli citizenship but none took it because they disagreed with annexation, unlike Golan Druze, who had received Israeli citizenship and are living rather happily.

            >In which case the IDF have no reason to treat Jewish settlers any differently to Arabs.

            It that case the IDF should not be present there at all because it would became police job. But no annexation took place yet.

            >If it isn’t their land, they are illegal occupiers.

            There is no “legal belligerent occupation”, therefore there is no “illegal belligerent occupation”

            >Take whichever option you like best.

            Neither.
            The situation here is unique in many senses and does not quite fit international law. For example, it is not clear what should be done if a nation consequently denies statehood multiple times. You’ll have hard time finding any precedent case.

            >All of the West Bank is occupied Palestinian land

            Still, you haven’t presented a map of occupied West Bank which would be accepted by a clear majority of Palestinian Arabs in Palestine and in exile.

            >all of Jerusalem is disputed land.

            Jerusalem was annexed. Palestinian Arabs have no strong claim over East Jerusalem – it was not a capital city of any kind until Israel captured it. It any case it is not necessary for alleged viability of future Palestinian State. Really nothing much to dispute about.

            >Maybe you’ve not noticed.

            What I can’t notice is Israel on Palestinian maps.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Jan

      Those soldiers must be so proud of themselves arresting children. Maybe they will get a new medal called The Child Abuse medal which they will wear proudly.

      Of course these same soldiers will never arrest or even lay a hand on settler children who hurl rocks at Palestinians. The soldiers will protect these children because they are Jewish and for that they will also receive the Order of Protecting Jewish Settler Children Who Throw Stones.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >they will also receive the Order of Protecting Jewish Settler Children Who Throw Stones.

        Great idea. Jewish underage stonethrowers are too few – maybe few hundred species (compared to millions of Palestinian Arab underage 4stonethrowers) and thus should be protected, maybe even listed in the Red Book.

        Reply to Comment
        • Jan

          When the Palestinians have the same weapons as the IDF and the settlers then the Palestinian kids won’t have to throw stones. Better yet when the settlers pack up and leave their illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories there will be no need for the Palestinian kids to throw stones.

          Meanwhile remember that people under occupation and oppression have the right to resist that occupation and oppression in any way they choose.

          Every stone that is thrown by a Palestinian kid is the result of Israel’s occupation.

          If you don’t like the stones being thrown at people like you then just get out of the territories and go back behind the Green Line where you belong. Surely you are a true trespasser on land where you do not belong.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >When the Palestinians have the same weapons as the IDF and the settlers then the Palestinian kids won’t have to throw stones.

            Yeah, I know that you are sorry that there are so few dead Jews out there. And also I know that you are not alone in that. I can only promise that I’ll do my best to keep your bunch sorry till the end of your days.

            >Better yet when the settlers pack up and leave their illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories there will be no need for the Palestinian kids to throw stones.

            Can you draw borders which would define occupied territories and non-occupied territories?

            >Meanwhile remember that people under occupation and oppression have the right to resist that occupation and oppression in any way they choose.

            Yep. And remember that security forces have the right to oppress the resistance in any way they choose.

            Basically – Arabs have right to kill Jews, but Jews also have right to kill Arabs.

            The only difference is that at this time period Jews are a fit just a little better.

            >Every stone that is thrown by a Palestinian kid is the result of Israel’s occupation.

            No. Every stone that is thrown by a Palestinian Arab kid is the result of 1919 refusal of Palestinian Arab congress and consequential refusals of 1947, 2000, 2002 and 2008.

            >If you don’t like the stones being thrown at people like you then just get out of the territories and go back behind the Green Line where you belong.

            Who told that we belong behind the Green Line?

            I dare you, I double-dare you … erm… Just go to Gaza strip and tell them that all Jews belong behind the green line.

            We all would be happy to learn what they’d reply you.

            >Surely you are a true trespasser on land where you do not belong.

            As a matter of fact I’m well within the Green Line now – in Petah Tikwa to be exact.

            But you are right – for Palestinian Arabs I’m a trespasser at any case.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Eric

      Nothing new here……
      Had the “Honor” to see that IDF behavior LIVE in April 2012 when i visited and toured the WB.

      Reply to Comment
    6. what you can see at the video is that a child was tacken into a jeep. other child pass trogh and give a pistol gun inside of a plastic guy to the swedish tourist. the turist was arrested to be obstructing justice and carry an illegal weapon. About politics you may have an opinion. about a child having a shoot gun israeli police will have jurisdiction. What would do the police at sweeden?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Sajjad

      This kind of behaviour by the IDF is disgusting. Where is the honor in arresting children, these soldiers are not men. Btw where are the human rights people gone or r they busy looking for wmd in syria

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Yeah. Honour. Killing woman who disobey is honourable, arresting children who disobey is dishonourable.

        Reply to Comment
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