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Settler boys collide, Palestinian boy jailed

13 April 2009

Tel Rumeida, Hebron – After 2 settlers boys collided on their bicycles, a 16 year old Palestinian who was not involved in the accident was arrested and has remained in prison for 3 days so far. His accuser is a son of Baruch Marzel, the leader of the far-right Jewish National Front and the former leader of Kach, which is now outlawed and is considered a terrorist organization by the EU, the US, and Israel.

On Monday, April 13th, the 2 settler boys of about 10 -12 years old were riding their bicycles through the Tel Rumeida neighborhood when the bikes collided. 1 of the boys, identified by observers as a son of Baruch Marzel, injured his ankle or leg in the accident. A local Palestinian shopkeeper noticed the injured boy and alerted nearby Israeli soldiers. The soldiers spoke with the injured Marzel boy, who falsely accused the young Palestinian nearby of injuring him, and the Palestinian was then detained. The injured settler went home, presumably alerting his father of the accusations, and the elder Marzel returned with a group of male settlers, including other sons of his, who were hostile and physically threatening by observers’ accounts. As the soldiers spoke with the group of angry settlers, the 16 year old Palestinian fled, worried about his physical well-being.
The soldiers began looking for the Palestinian shortly after he left, asking Tel Rumeida residents the boy’s name and house. The following day, on April 14th at about 7 P.M., he was arrested and taken to Jerusalem then returned to Hebron the same day, where he remains in the Kiryat Arba police station. Police told the boy’s father that he would be released the following day, the 15th. The next day, police told the boy’s father that his son would be released the 16th. On the 16th the boy’s father was told that his son would come before a judge on the 19th, and will remain in prison until then.

The lawyer of Baruch Marzel informed the father of the imprisoned Palestinian boy that charges would be dropped if the Palestinian family paid Marzel 4000 shekels. Knowing that his son did nothing wrong, the father of the imprisoned boy refused on principle.