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Police drag, arrest and allegedly beat Bedouin child at anti-Prawer protest

Adalah attorney witnesses the child being beaten inside police car, says the 14-year-old minor is accused of holding – and not throwing – a stone.

Protests against the Prawer Plan, especially the central protest in the southern town of Hura, made it to top headlines on all Israel media sites last night, showing mostly the violent end of what began as peaceful protests. What wasn’t reported was the violent arrest of a minor, a 14-year-old Bedouin child, who can be seen in the photo below being dragged with a gun pointed at him, and in the video below (released by Ehna TV) being dragged on the street by his shirt and shoved into a police car. All this despite efforts by the protesters there, including MK Ahmad Tibi, to stop the arrest on the grounds that he is just a child.

Bedouin child being dragged and arrested by police during anti-Prawer demo in Hura, Nov 30, 2013 (Umalek/Adalah)

MK Ahmad Tibi told +972 the police were violent at the protest in Hura and that their brutality was captured in the images now circulating around the world. “The whole world is now seeing this picture. They will all see this, and that is good.”

He says he saw Mista’arvim (special Israeli undercover units disguised as Arabs) arresting the child and instinctively tried to grab and pull him free, but was prevented from doing so. The Arab-Israeli member of Knesset said he was pushed by several cops and ended up lightly injured on his arm, his watch broken. He can be seen in the video screaming at them, “he’s just a kid!”

According to Aram Mahamid, a lawyer from Adalah who witnessed the arrest, police arrested the child because they claim he held (not threw) a stone, and because he supposedly attacked a police officer (a claim which, if you watched the video, seems absurd considering the size of the policemen and gear they are strapped into, compared with this scrawny little kid).

Mahamid told +972 that he saw with his own eyes the child being dragged by police and then beaten after he was already inside the car, in police custody. At the time of this report, Mahamid said the child had been held in the Be’er Sheva police station since the previous night, left handcuffed in the hallway for almost the entire time and was forced to sleep on the floor.

Mahamid said the child will see a judge Sunday afternoon and that in the meantime, Adalah is submitting a complaint to the Department for the Investigation of Police (DIP).

Asked about the violent and illegal arrest of this child, and the conditions he was held in, Mahamid said, “Yesterday was a day they [the police] decided there are no laws.”

Other videos and photos of police violence have been circulating from the protests that took place in East Jerusalem, Haifa, Tireh and in Ramallah and Jaffa yesterday. In one video from Haifa, multiple riot police officers can be seen kicking a protester on the ground.

Read Also:
Activists hold ‘day of rage’ protests against Prawer Plan
Anti-Prawer ‘Day of Rage:’ Chronicle of a violent confrontation foretold 
Crackdown on anti-Prawer demonstrations show unequal right to protest

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    1. The 14 year old is arrested to send a signal to the locale. His travail and that of his family will filter through networks, telling these what awaits if further resistance is offered. I suspect this is standard policy now, probably evolved from occupation; an illegal act on the part of the child is secondary, although certainly supportive.

      At least you know where the boy was taken. Child advocates might be assigned to police stations the day of these events, solely to document and retard possible brutality. If the boy was forced to sleep the halls, that itself is abuse, acceptable only if the jail was overflowing or he could not be isolated from violent inmates; even then, something could be done to lessen the night.

      The boy shows no signs of violence in the video. If he struggled in the car it was out of terror; the whole idea of a back seat jail in a police car is to isolate individuals so violence can go nowhere. If he was beaten, officers in the car, participating or not, are guilty of assault.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      Chazakim al chalashim (tr.: strong against the weak).

      I’d like to see these brave Israelis be so brave against Hezbollah.

      Reply to Comment
      • O'Really?

        Do you really think Israel is scared of Hezbollah? Hezbollah doesn’t even have a proper army. The last SEVERAL times Arabs attempted to invade Israel with actual armies they were all swiftly defeated even though they out-numbered Israel’s army (2.4 to 1) and had more planes and tanks (3 to 1), yet the Arabs lost. Casualties were about 20 Arab soldiers per 1 Israeli soldier.

        Hezbollah has absolutely zero chance of beating Israel in any real war. All they can do is guerrilla warfare from within Lebanon like they did a few years ago, and hide behind walls within a city. They have no planes or tanks. They’re merely a bunch of foot soldiers with AK’s and rocket launchers. That’s not an army, and you can’t beat fighter jets and a well equipped and trained army with AK’s and rocket launchers. They can only hide among civilians and plant bomb traps on their own territory, but in terms of total destruction, they have no chance while Israel can destroy any city in Lebanon if they wanted to. Those are facts, you have an opinion.

        Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, you know?

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          Israel got its ass handed to it by Hezbollah on at least two occasions (2000 and 2006). The latter was particularly embarrassing to the IDF because after more than a month of sustained bombing in Lebanon, all they could muster was to reach a pathetic truce with a band of poorly-armed (though disciplined and well-trained) guerrilla fighters. Hezbollah has become the stuff of nightmares for Israeli soldiers and generals alike – justifiably so. It’s not an overreach to state that short of invading Lebanon and occupying it for many months, Israel has no chance of ever defeating Hezbollah in battle.

          Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Hezbollah are a bunch of rag-tag amateurs. Their luck is they are fighting against Israel which constrains itself instead of carpet bombing them like the allies carpet bombed Nazi Germany. Or the Russians who literally obliterated Grozny the capital of Chechnia. If Israel too would adopt such tactics against Hezbollah, the Hezzies would not have a chance. Their hit and run tactics would not work.

            Unfortunately Israel cannot do that because the hypocritical world would be up in arms about it. What they took as god given right to do themselves, they say that Israel has no right to do.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            In 2006 Israel pretty leveled the entire south Lebanon. Not much was left standing. Hezbollah’s response, however, was also devastating, with 34 straight days of sustained rocketing of Israel’s north, keeping hundreds of thousands of Israelis in bomb shelters for over a month. Hezbollah managed to kill 120 soldiers as well as 40 civilians. The result of the war was nothing more than egg on Israel’s face.

            Oh, and Israel cannot carpet bomb Lebanon for the simple reason that it is 100% dependent on the U.S., which would NEVER allow the F-16 planes it gave Israel free of charge to be used for the indiscriminate killing of tens of thousands of civilians, as you suggest Israel do.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            No of course not Danny. Because the US too is humanitarian and treats it’s enemies with kindness. So it wouldn’t allow the evil old Zionists to carpet bomb the poor Hezzies.

            Oops, I forgot about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

            My point still stands. Not only that, Danny, you confirmed my point.

            Reply to Comment
    3. sh

      Unbearable to watch. Years of nightmares ahead for the child.

      There was a woman soldier involved in the melee. How could she?

      Reply to Comment
      • O'Really?

        Yes there’s a female soldier, so what? America also has female soldiers, so do many other civilized countries. What’s your point of her being a female soldier?

        And please, dragging a kid and arresting him is not a huge deal, it happens in every country for whatever reason, sometimes it’s justified and sometimes it’s not.

        I believe we’re only shown a part of what happened. Can’t form an opinion or jump to conclusions based on small snippets from a random and possibly one sided edited video. All we know is what we saw, which was a kid being taken away by the police/military. Did he deserve it? I don’t know, neither do you.

        Reply to Comment
        • On the evidence of the piece, an Arab MK pleaded with the police to refrain from arrest, “he is only a boy.” Yes, arrests like this happen in many, many places in the world. This seems a rather odd reason to remove scrutiny; on this logic, we should ignore rapes because they are so common throughout the world. There is also a charge that the boy was hit in the police car, as well as forced to remain in a police hall most of the night. Both charges can be examined, should be examined.

          It is quite easy to say arrests like this happen everywhere. What if your 14 year old, or a relative’s, or a friend’s? You are correct that the video might be omitting crucial events leading up to arrest, but the boy’s demeanor as presented, upon custody, shows fear, not resistance.

          The Arab MK’s attitude suggests the arrest was dubious at best. Let’s try to be better than the rest of the world and have the police account for the facts as presented; they can always refute them.

          Reply to Comment