military arrests two young Palestinians
A call came for the members of the Hebron team to come quickly to the street on
Friday, 21 January 1:30 p.m. The military had stopped people going home after
Friday prayers at the Mosque and CPT found the people bottled up in the
narrow exit tunnel of the Old City.
Soldiers and the Palestinians were yelling at each other, and soldiers
were pointing guns at the crowd. CPTers encouraged the soldiers to calm down, stop yelling, and let the people go home.
soldiers continued bellowing and tried to force the people to move back, by
putting guns in their faces.To protect the people whom the soldiers were threatening,
young boys with fruit carts lined up their carts to form a blockade that gave
the crowd some space from the soldiers.
While a soldier shouted into one boy’s face, the boy calmly ate his
apple and refused to budge. Someone else passed out candy. One upset young man went up to the
soldiers and pleaded with them. The
soldiers eventually arrested him and forced him into the military compound. Later, CPTers learned from the boy that
he was simply asking the soldiers to let his father get to the hospital for a
shot. The boy said that after the
soldiers arrested him, they blindfolded him, made him kneel, tied his hands
behind him, and pounded on his head.
When asked why they were behaving in this manner, the military said they saw
someone with a gun. The soldiers
chased one or two young men and accused them of carrying the gun. The
soldiers then brought one terrified youth down to their gate with great show. At that point, soldiers released the
crowd. Some, however, stayed on,
concerned for the boy whom the soldiers had detained. One of the merchants from the souk told the CPTers,
“Forget any gun. This is a
military exercise, the purpose of which is to discourage people from coming to
Friday worship at the mosque.”
The young boy the soldiers had arrested when he asked them to let his father go
to the hospital came by to tell CPT his story and to thank the CPTers who had
tried to monitor what happened to him inside the gates. He said the other boy remained in