5th July 2016 | International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team | Hebron, occupied Palestine
Israeli forces on Monday 4th July arrested a 10-year old Palestinian girl near the Ibrahimi mosque in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), as a group of settler children arbitrarily accused her of throwing an enormous rock at them.
A large group of settler children were playing near the Ibrahimi mosque, again and again harassing a family living next to a checkpoint manned by heavily-armed Israeli forces. When a boy accused one of the Palestinian children of throwing a rock at them, all the settler children and large numbers of Israeli forces gathered at the house. A group of soldiers then entered the house with the settler boy, and eventually came out with the 10-year old girl, crying.
They then walked her off to the police station, despite her young age. Even under Israeli military law, that applies on all Palestinians in the West Bank, the arrest of Palestinian children is prohibited under the age of 12. Under the Israeli civil law which applies even on settlers living in illegal settlements, in contrast, arrests of children are legal only from the age of 14. Despite the girl being only 10-years old – a fact that was repeatedly told to the soldiers – the girl was taken to the police station. The girls mother was prevented by the Israeli forces to reach the police station, which is located on part of a street where Palestinians are not even allowed to walk. Luckily, the girl was accompanied by her aunt, but denied the presence of her mother.
The settlers in the meantime kept harassing the Palestinian family, throwing small stones at the family, sitting on the stairs outside their house, waiting and hoping for the release of the girl. As the house is located directly opposite one of the many checkpoints, this happened in plain view of the Israeli forces, who in the beginning entirely ignored the events and intervened only when realizing that people started filming and taking photos.
After about half an hour, she was released, and Israeli forces explained to her family, that they were just being ‘nice’ as they were sure she threw the rock. The rock the settler boy accused her of throwing at them is so big, that the 10-year old girl would not even been able to lift it up.
Watch the video below:
This illustrates how Israeli settlers, even small children, have complete impunity for their actions, and Israeli forces act upon their every word and wish – even if acting illegally under the Israeli law.
This comes at a time where Israeli forces are enacting severe restrictions on Palestinians in the area around the Ibrahimi Mosque.