JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian child Abdullah Haroun al-Anati from the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem was shot by Israeli forces with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the chest during a violent raid in the camp Monday afternoon, and has since remained chained to his hospital bed at Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem despite being in the intensive care unit.Al-Anati’s mother Abir told Ma’an Tuesday that her 14-year-old son was being held in Israeli custody while receiving medical treatment, as Israeli forces accused the boy of throwing stones at Israeli military vehicles during Monday’s raid, which also left a 9-year-old girl with a rubber-coated steel bullet injury to the foot.
“The bullet ripped through his left hand and his lung and has caused internal bleeding,” Abir said, “soldiers are present in the room and they don’t allow me to talk to my son or come close to him.”
She added that an Israeli interrogator questioned al-Anati on Monday evening for approximately two hours. The interrogator, she added, took away the boy’s shoes and clothes.Abir denied claims that her son was throwing rocks, saying that she was walking him and her daughters home from school when he was shot.”I was with Abdullah and the girls on Monday afternoon escorting them from school in Kafr Aqab to our home in the camp,” she said, adding that that when she and her children entered the camp, there were clashes near the Israeli military checkpoint at the entrance to Shufat.
According to Abir, she managed to cross the checkpoint into the camp along with her children and walked away from the area where clashes were taking place.
Abdullah, she said, walked at a faster pace ahead of his mother and sisters, causing her to lose sight of him. Moments later, she learned from local youth that her son was shot.She added that she took her son to a local medical center before he was taken in an ambulance to the hospital. “Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint allowed the ambulance to pass after holding it for more than half an hour.” The soldiers, she said, insisted on following the ambulance with a military vehicle and demanded the driver to go to Hadassah hospital.
On Monday, Thaer al-Fasfous, a Fatah spokesman in the camp, told Ma’an about al-Anati — who at that time was still unidentified — saying that soldiers “detained the injured boy for more than half an hour at a checkpoint in Shufat before an ambulance, followed by a military jeep, was able to take him to a hospital.”
According to al-Fasfous, Israeli forces “showered the camp” in tear gas and fired rubber-coated steel bullets “haphazardly,” resulting in al-Anati’s injury.
An Israeli police spokesperson was not available for comment on Monday regarding initial reports, and was not immediately available on Tuesday to comment on Abdullah al-Anati’s condition or detention.
Shufat refugee camp is located in northeastern Jerusalem within Israel’s municipal boundaries of the city, but is encircled on three sides by Israel’s separation wall, forcing residents to pass through a congested military checkpoint to access the rest of Jerusalem where most claim residency status.
The camp is routinely the site of violent clashes
between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth as a result of raids such as Monday’s.
Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt between local Palestinian youth who throw stones and are met in response with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.
Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians, including minors, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response.
Israeli authorities have also dramatically escalated their crackdown on Palestinian youth who are caught throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers, detaining hundreds of Palestinians for alleged stone throwing every year. Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported that from 2005 to 2010, “93 percent of the minors convicted of stone throwing were given a prison sentence, its length ranging from a few days to 20 months.”
However, Palestinians have claimed that rock throwing by teenagers represents a natural reaction to the frustrations caused by the nearly half-century Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which has been shaped by everyday forms of violence, such as nightly military raids into Palestinian communities, arbitrary detentions, home demolitions, and frequent killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces.