Israeli occupation forces recently detained a ten-year-old Palestinian boy for more than three hours, according to human rights NGO B’Tselem.
Qusai Al-Ja’ar, who lives in Beit Ummar, a village north of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank, was taken by soldiers on 18 October, during an early evening raid.
Qusai had been helping his father to remove leftover concrete from the family home, using the boy’s bicycle, when a military jeep suddenly pulled up.
Four soldiers got out, and walked up to Qusai, with one grabbing him by the shirt and dragging him towards the jeep, without even one word of explanation.
Qusai’s father, Ibrahim, urged the soldiers to free his son, at which one of the soldiers “fired a single shot in the air”. When other relatives – including the mother, Khitam – tried to intervene, “soldiers shoved them…threw stun grenades and tear gas canisters, and one fired another shot in the air”.
According to B’Tselem, soldiers “handcuffed and blindfolded Qusai inside the jeep”, then took him to a military post in the Carmei Tzur settlement nearby.
When Ibrahim arrived, soldiers allowed the father to stand next to his son, as soldiers interrogated Qusai about other children in the village. After more than three hours, Qusai was released.
“I was very tired and went to bed early. I was scared and cried the whole time the soldiers detained me. I only managed to stop crying when my father came,” the boy told researchers.
The Israeli rights group noted that it has “documented previous incidents in which Israeli armed forces unlawfully detained Palestinian children below the age of criminal liability.”
“The treatment of ten-year-old Qusai from Beit Ummar is yet another instance of the daily routine of control and oppression that Israel imposes on all Palestinians in the West Bank, as part of its occupation regime,” B’Tselem added.
#Israel arrests up to 700 Palestinian children each year in which 97% of them had no parent or lawyer present during…