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Israeli forces arrest three youth in Hebron

06th January 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

The four youth detained by the checkpoint (photo by ISM).

The four youth detained by the checkpoint (photo by ISM).

This morning in Khalil (Hebon), a large group of Israeli border police and soldiers gathered outside checkpoint 29. Israeli forces fired several tear gas grenades towards a school, detained four Palestinian youth and arrested three of them, taking them to Kiryat Arba police station.

At approximately 10:30am, at least 30 Israeli border police and soldiers stood outside checkpoint 29 and fired one tear gas grenade. The grenade was aimed towards a school; there were no children in the streets and no youth throwing stones. Israeli forces entered through the checkpoint and proceeded towards the school.  A further tear gas grenade was fired seemingly without purpose and away from any people. A group of young Palestinians, all under the age of 10, were forced to hide in a local shop due to fear at the aggressive border police. Israeli forces fired a final tear gas grenade towards the school before heading back towards checkpoint 29.

Israeli border police detained four Palestinian youth, all of which were held for approximately 30 minutes and searched by Israeli forces. During this time, one of the international activists present at the checkpoint was kicked by a border police officer and then pushed to the ground. Israeli border police then confiscated the passports of three international activists, including two members of Christian Peacemakers Team. The border police refused to explain why the passports were taken or answer any questions about the detained youth. After approximately 20 minutes, an Israeli border police officer stated that he would return the passports if the activists left the area, which they agreed to, moving away from the checkpoint though still able to monitor the actions of the Israeli forces.

One of the detained youth was released, before leaving the area he stated to an international activist that one border police officer kicked and slapped him during his detention. The remaining youth were transferred to Kiryat Arba police station and their situation is now unknown.

Children and youth are regularly harassed at checkpoint 29, often whilst on their way to school in the morning. For example, this morning several children, some who were under the age of 12, threw stones at the checkpoint and Israeli forces responded by firing a tear gas grenade.