Everyday, Palestinian families get attacked by Israeli forces in their own homes. Sometimes they bang on the door in the middle of the night, scaring children and adults, ransacking the house. On some of these raids, both during the night and in daytime, Israeli forces randomly arrest family members and take them to an unknown destination without any reason.
Last night, Israeli forces entered the Palestinian market in the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron) and entered a Palestinian family home where they kidnapped an 8-year old girl and arrested 3 more young men. All of them were walked towards the military base in Shuhada street, but then kept behind a fence and military gate for more than 15 minutes before being released. No reason was given for the random arrest.
Even the way to school can be a dangerous and perilous journey for children in al-Khalil (Hebron). Having to pass through sometimes multiple checkpoints to get to school, children as young as 4 years old have to pass by heavily armed Israeli soldiers. As if the ubiquitous military presence weren’t scary enough, children are subjected to bag-searches, frisking, detainment and arrests. With Israeli forces using tear gas on children on their way to school and back home after a long school-day, children also have to duck away from tear-gas grenades shot towards them and navigate past clouds of tear-gas lingering on in the alleys.
Arresting children under the age of 11 is illegal even under Israeli law, as it is considered to be too traumatizing and detrimental to a child’s well-being, regardless of the accusations brought forward against a child. However, Palestinian children are detained, frisked, body-searched and arrested by Israeli forces on an every-day basis. As this illegal practice does not result in any consequences for the soldiers or policemen at all, Palestinian children are constantly at risk of maltreatment, abuse and denial of their most basic human rights.