An Israeli soldier takes a photo from a Palestinian minor in Jaber neighborhood of al-Khalil (Hebron) on May 24, 2016, after questioning him about an earlier stone-throwing incident in the neighborhood
A leading Israeli rights group has denounced the Israeli military for illegally questioning a group of underage Palestinians, calling it a “blatant disregard” for the rights of minors.
A video provided by B’Tselem shows several dozen Israeli forces randomly gathering around 20 Palestinian children and teens from the streets and questioning them.
The Palestinians are forced to stand against a wall and answer questions about a stone-throwing incident, which had allegedly occurred last week.
The soldiers then take photo of every child and teen, using a cell phone, after making them sit in front of the wall before releasing them.
In a statement, B’Tselem said the scope of the latest incident and the fact that every minor was photographed was unusual.
To date, such incidents occurred within homes, with the children’s parents present, and without the minors themselves being questioned or accused of a specific offense, the rights group said.
According to B’Tselem, none of the 14 minors whose details were obtained by the rights group, had a record of being nabbed or questioned by the Israeli military.
The incident indicated that they were arrested and photographed “despite being suspected of nothing,” it said.
The statement said the “goal was primarily to intimidate the children in order to deter them from throwing stones, and to make it easier for the military to identify them in case they do.”
“This demonstrates blatant disregard for the military’s duty to protect the rights of minors.”
The Israeli military, it added, is banned from treating civilians, particularly underage ones, as potential criminals and using soldiers to deter them.
The whole incident was filmed by a B’Tselem volunteer living in the neighborhood. The rights group also obtained several of the minors’ accounts of the event.
In late May, the Palestinian Ministry of Information said nearly 2,080 Palestinian children have been killed and approximately 13,000 injured by the Israeli military over the past 16 years.
About 12,000 Palestinian children have been arrested, and 420 are currently being held in Israeli prisons, it added.
On Sunday, Israeli forces also arrested 13 Palestinians after storming their houses in the occupied West Bank.
(Source / 05.06.2016)