Video: Israeli soldiers arrest young child

19 Nov


By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 18 November 2015

This video shows Israeli soldiers detaining an 8-year-old child in Aida refugee camp, near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.

It was shot by Salah Ajarma, director of Lajee Centre, a community organization in the camp.

The video has been seen tens of thousands of times since Ajarma posted it on his Facebook page.

Reached by telephone, Ajarma told The Electronic Intifada that the boy, Abdallah D., had been in a playground when he and other children were affected by tear gas fired by Israeli occupation forces.

The soldiers detained the boy and then effectively used him as a hostage and human shield, Ajarma said.

He said one soldier even held the boy with one hand while firing tear gas with another.

He said Israeli forces frequently fire tear gas and harass local residents.

Ajarma said that he and Munthir Amirah, a local community leader, tried to reason with the soldiers to let the boy go.

Amirah can be seen in the video speaking to the soldiers and being shoved and manhandled by them.

“If you get one step closer to me I’ll detain you,” a soldier shouts at Amirah in Hebrew, and yanks the boy backwards. The soldiers then attack Amirah while continuing to detain the child.

Ajarma said that the boy’s mother, father and grandfather came to the scene.

The soldiers ordered the mother and father to go and tell local youths to stop throwing stones if they wanted their son to be released, Ajarma said.

They arrested Amirah and let the boy go after holding him for several hours.

Ajarma said that he visited the family on Wednesday morning and that Abdallah was traumatized by the experience.

Ajarma said that the Israeli soldiers looked little older than teenagers.

“You’re young, but you must have a family. What you’re doing to a young child isn’t right,” Ajarma recalled telling one of the gunmen holding the child.

“I feel that if this soldier was a father, he wouldn’t be able to carry on this way,” Ajarma told The Electronic Intifada.

“The one thing that made the army act in a slightly less violent way is that I was filming everything,” Ajarma said.

Child killed

In October, Israeli forces shot dead 13-year-old schoolboy Abdulrahman Shadi Obeidallah in Aida refugee camp. The Israeli army claimed it shot Abdulrahman by mistake. Its intended target was an adult who had been standing near Abdulrahman, according the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz.

The organization Defence for Children International-Palestine said that its initial probe into the incident suggests that Abdulrahman may have been unlawfully killed.


Dena Shunra contributed Hebrew translation.

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