The children were detained in a field near an illegal outpost in the occupied West Bank and released after several hours.
Israeli forces detained five Palestinian children for several hours after confronting Jewish settlers while collecting wild vegetables near a settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank, an Israeli rights group said Thursday. humans.
B’Tselem posted a video of the arrest in the southern Hebron Hills, in which heavily armed Israeli soldiers can be seen dragging the children.
Footage filmed earlier shows children picking akoub, an artichoke-like plant, as two masked settlers emerge from a grove of trees near the illegal settler outpost of Havat Maon.
The outpost is located near Masafer Yatta, a collection of about 19 Palestinian hamlets. The region is frequently the target of assaults by the Israeli army and settlers.
“This is yet another example of the utter disregard on the part of the Israeli authorities and forces on the ground for the well-being and rights of Palestinians, however young or vulnerable,” B spokesman said. ‘Tselem, Amit Gilutz.
“The youngest boy in yesterday’s incident is eight years old,” he added.
The children, aged eight to 13, were held for about five hours at a police station in Kiryat Arba settlement, according to Gaby Lasky, a human rights lawyer who represents them. The two eldest, aged 12 and 13, have been ordered to return next week for further questioning because, under Israeli military law, they are considered old enough to face charges.
Earlier today, five Palestinian children between the ages of 8 and 12 were reportedly detained by IDF soldiers after picking wild flowers, at the behest of Israeli settlers whose presence even in the occupied territory is illegal.
– Ben White (@benabyad) March 10, 2021
The IDF said “a number of suspects” were arrested after “infiltrating private property in a house.” He said they were transferred to the Israeli police, who handed them over to their parents.
According to Defense for Children International, Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children each year in military courts. Prisoners’ rights group Addameer said 140 Palestinian children are currently imprisoned by Israel.
Havat Maon is one of dozens of settler outposts established without permission from the Israeli government, in addition to some 130 officially recognized settlements in the occupied West Bank. The settlements, which range from isolated hilltop outposts to full-fledged cities, are home to nearly half a million Israelis.
Lasky said he was “crazy” to accuse the children of trespassing on an illegally constructed outpost.
The harassment of young Palestinian children by Israeli settlers and their frequent arrests and detentions by Israeli forces constitute a set of violations of international law – and can also constitute repeated violations of US law to the extent that US military equipment is used. https://t.co/Z9l4q4oqR9
– Dylan Williams (@dylanotes) March 11, 2021
The Palestinians see all the settlements as illegal and a major obstacle to their goal of creating an independent state, including the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 war. The international community also largely views the settlements as illegal and as an obstacle to peace.
On Thursday, a group of Israeli settlers fired their weapons at two Palestinian children in Masafer Yatta. The two children, aged 12 and 13, were not injured in the attack.
Rateb Jabour, coordinator of the Hebron Resistance to the Wall and Colonization Commission, told Palestinian news agency WAFA that settlers opened fire on children while grazing sheep in the area of Masafer Yatta.
Many settler outposts were established by religious nationalists hostile to the local Palestinian population. B’Tselem reported an increase in settler violence in recent months and said the IDF often turned a blind eye.