HEBRON/AL-KHALIL: Soldiers detain and abuse 14-year-old boy; new documentary describes Israeli imprisonment of Hebron minors



2 June,2011

Soldiers detain and abuse 14-year-old boy; new documentary describes Israeli
imprisonment of Hebron minors

On 10 May 2011,
fourteen-year-old, A.* was returning to his home near Bab il Baladiye, the
entrance to the Old City, with two friends. 
Some younger boys were throwing rocks at the Bab il-Baladiye checkpoint
and when soldiers emerged from behind the wall to deal with the stone throwers,
they grabbed A. 

to A., for the next
six hours, he remained blindfolded in the soldier camp, wrists bound behind his
back with plastic handcuffs.  One soldier
kicked him and kept yelling at him to admit he had thrown stones, which A.
steadfastly denied.  Around 3:00 in the
morning, a soldier who spoke Arabic arrived, told the other soldiers that A.
had NOT been among the boys throwing stones, and brought him to the Palestinian
police station, where A.’s uncle worked. 
He slept there until his mother came to pick him up at 7:00 a.m. the
next morning.

When CPTers
visited A. on 13 May to fill in the details of his story, his eighteen-year-old
brother, K., told them that he had many more stories to share of soldiers
abusing teenage boys in the area, usually after they had been accused of
throwing stones.  In at least two instances,
the boys in question had  been standing
in an area talking when the soldiers grabbed them and sent them to Ofer prison,
which is located about 54 kilometers north of Hebron.

“They choose
the ones that seem weak; I don’t know why,” K. told the CPTers.  One friend, who, according to K. is
“absolutely nonviolent,” was picked up by soldiers and falsely
accused of a knife attack.  After a harsh
interrogation by the police, the friend was sent to Ofer.  He found his six months in prison not as bad
as he thought it would be, but he had to repeat a year of school afterwards.

K. continued to
relate other instances of soldier abuse in Al Khalil.  About a year ago, he, A., and three other
friends were walking on Shalala Street when soldiers lined them up against the
wall and began beating them.  If they
tried to raise their heads, the soldiers slapped them.  When they eventually let the five boys go,
soldiers told them that if they ever saw them on the streets after 8:00 p.m.,
they would be arrested.  According to K.
and several of his friends, Israeli Russian, Druze, and religious soldiers are
the most likely to beat Palestinians.

Gerry O’Sullivan,
an intern with CPT Palestine and a former member of EAPPI (Ecumenical
Accompaniment Project in Palestine and Israel) recently created a documentary
about the arrests and imprisonment of minors in the Hebron area. The video,
entitled “Stolen Children; Stolen Lives,”  is available in two parts on Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zaeERjVReE and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9mDscNEws4&feature=related

*Initials rather
than full names are given for the protection of the individuals.

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