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Soldiers Detain Palestinian Kids for getting hit with Settlers’ Rocks

By Missy

At approximately 4:00 PM August 14th, while sitting at Checkpoint #56 in Tel Rumeida, Hebron, three Israeli soldiers escorted two Palestinian boys who appeared to be around ten years of age to the police station. The boys were holding a kite and nothing else. They looked very nervous and scared, staring mostly at each other and the ground. Three human rights workers (HRW) followed the soldiers and boys; the soldiers said nothing. At the top of the hill, the soldiers then began physically blocking the HRWs by walking in front of them. Another soldier came down the hill from the direction of the Tel Rumeida settlement and started shouting at one HRW, “You can’t go here. Fucking bitch!” They told the soldier to stop cursing, and he replied, “I don’t give a fuck!”

The soldier claimed that the boys were throwing rocks at the settler boys. He said they were taking them to the military base for about an hour. The soldier replied to a human rights worker, “Don’t worry. We’ll keep them for about an hour. We’re going to punish them.” The soldiers then walked away quickly with the boys.

An HRW called the District Coordination Office (an administrative wing of the Israeli military) and told them the situation. They said they would find out immediately what the soldiers were doing with two young boys. About three minutes later, two men from B’tselem pulled up in their Jeep Cherokee, and said they were immediately going to the military base to check on the welfare of the boys. The police arrived about ten minutes later, and went directly to the military base.

About half an hour later, the boys were released. B’tselem reported that the Palestinian boys were walking down the steps near Shuhada Street, and settler boys were throwing rocks at them. The settler boys then told the soldier that the Palestinian boys were throwing rocks at them, so the soldier at the post near the settlement called for another soldier near the checkpoint. He then detained them. The man from B’tselem said the police told the boys they could file a complaint, but would have to come to the police station and identify them from their collection of mug shots.

The boys then went home.