Video shows Israeli police allegedly using Palestinian youth as a human shield

Israel/Palestine
on 26 Comments

In an effort to document the longstanding Israeli practice of exploiting Palestinian youths to protect their occupation forces, Defence for Children International Palestine (DCI-Palestine) released this video of the Israeli Border Police. It allegedly shows a Palestinian teenager being forced to act as a human shield. The young man, identified only as “Mohammed K., 17,” had been participating in a demonstration in support of hunger striking prisoners that occurred in the West Bank town of Abu Dis on Friday, April 19.

The video shows a handcuffed Palestinian teenager being taken from a police jeep and forced to accompany policemen as they approached and shot into a crowd of protesters who are not visible in the frame. The video was shot by Huthifa Jamous, who is a local journalist.

The DCI-Palestine website quotes Mohammed’s father stating that his son was “roughed up” and bruised by the police, who detained the teenager for questioning.

According to a report by Agence France Presse, a Border Police spokesman denied that the youth was being used as a shield; instead he claims that the young man was displayed to the protesters to prove to them that he had not been harmed. An action which the spokesman claimed calmed the protesters whose number he estimated to be 400.

DCI-Palestine reported two months ago, that a 9-year-old boy was forced to act as a human shield by Israeli soldiers when they confronted a demonstration near Ofer Prison, outside Ramallah. The boy, who was a passerby, was held at gunpoint throughout the incident.

“We are deeply concerned by the continued use of Palestinian children as human shields,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director at DCI-Palestine. “Israeli forces continue to blatantly disregard international law, as well as their own domestic law. We demand that the Israeli authorities conduct a prompt, transparent and impartial investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable.”

The DCI-Palestine website has documented 20 other occurrences of Israelis forcing Palestinian children to act as human shields. The incidents are listed at the link.

Jerusalem Post, 972, and the Electronic Intifada have posted the video, since I wrote this.  Also, Ma’an and some Gulf news sites.  Some use a headline like, “Handcuffed teenager paraded by Israelis in front of demonstrators.”

On a related note, a friend of mine who lives in Finland, emailed me last week saying that he had struck up a conversation with a young Israeli on a bus who was visiting his Finnish girlfriend. After learning that my friend had been in U.S. Army Intelligence and asking him a few questions about his experience, the Israeli boasted that when his unit would raid Palestinian homes in the West Bank, they would always grab a young man off the street to act as a human shield.  

About Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY.

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26 Responses

  1. marc b.
    April 22, 2013, 11:55 am

    see adalah compilation of documents on Israeli use of human shields. summary below.

    link to adalah.org

  2. amigo
    April 22, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Gee, I thought that only A-rabs carry out this brand of crimes.

    Well , that,s what the Zionists claim in the myriad of blogs and web sites populating the Internet.

    Never a mention of the most moral army using it on a more than regular basis.

    Does that make me an antisemite, then.

  3. seafoid
    April 22, 2013, 12:14 pm

    link to haaretz.com

    “And he is scared,” wrote (Yesh Atid Member of Knesset) Kol, who has helped advance bills in the fields of children’s rights, violence against children, health and education. “I am scared. I am scared that we will continue living like this. And that fear scares me.”

    4 years ago Gideon Levy wrote that Tel Aviv is an island of sanity in an insane country .

  4. seafoid
    April 22, 2013, 12:21 pm

    Compare and contrast

    Rabbi Eric Yoffie

    link to haaretz.com

    “But the real point is that the acquiring of Jewish influence is not a misfortune; it is a blessing and a cause for celebration. I applaud the fact that AIPAC—and a whole range of Jewish organizations—are respected political players on the Washington scene and that Jewish concerns—including, first and foremost, the welfare of Israel – are advanced by these groups. And while AIPAC has won the backing of many Americans, American Jews are instrumental in leading it, supporting it, and extending its influence. Again, this is a source of pride; let’s not suggest otherwise. ”

    Ely Karmon

    link to haaretz.com

    “Likewise, in terms of the Boston bombers, I would not exclude the possibility that if these radicals are global jihadists – in the sense that they are not interested especially in the nationalist cause of the Chechen fighters – they could also look for Israeli or Jewish targets, and not only in the United States”

    How did Judaism end up at war with Islam ? Cui bono?

  5. Obsidian
    April 22, 2013, 12:25 pm

    The youth was displayed, he was not used as a shield.
    That much should be obvious to anyone with eyes not blinded by hate.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 22, 2013, 2:40 pm

      accusing ones adversaries of hatred is an addiction for israel’s advocates. it’s fast becoming the number one hasbara ad hominem tactic, surpassing the anti semitism accusation albeit it’s almost the same thing.

      hence stale, boring, hypocritical and cowardly..whose full of hate really? the victims or the perpetrators? in the crazy world of israel the oppressors compensate their soldiers as victims, something drives them crazy…and it’s from the mind of the perpetrators.

      • Talkback
        April 23, 2013, 8:23 am

        Annie Robbins says: “accusing ones adversaries of hatred is an addiction for israel’s advocates. it’s fast becoming the number one hasbara ad hominem tactic, surpassing the anti semitism accusation albeit it’s almost the same thing.”

        I noticed that too, Annie. After antisemitism they seem to be obsessed with pure hate now. Poor souls.

        But I agree that he was not used as a human shield. Otherwise they wouldn’t have put him back. The situation was still (as dangerous as not) the same.

      • Hostage
        April 24, 2013, 7:01 am

        But I agree that he was not used as a human shield.

        That’s beside the point. They violated Article 27 of the 4th Geneva Convention anyway by deliberately exposing a protected person in their custody to unnecessary danger. They shouldn’t have hauled him out there in the first place while they were firing crowd control rounds at the demonstrators.

    • Walker
      April 22, 2013, 2:48 pm

      The youth was displayed, he was not used as a shield.

      It looks that way to me, too.

    • Light
      April 22, 2013, 2:53 pm

      The youth was displayed

      It was a war crime.

      Geneva Convention III
      Article 23, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
      No prisoner of war may at any time be sent to, or detained in areas where he may be exposed to the fire of the combat zone, nor may his presence be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations

      link to icrc.org

      The soldiers are also guilty of violating Israeli Laws of War.

      Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:

      … that “[t]he presence of prisoners of war must not be used for the ‘protection’ of military targets from attack”.

      In addition, the manual provides: “It is prohibited to place hostages, prisoners-of-war or civilians in places likely to be attacked by enemy forces, with the intention of preventing such attack.”

    • Hostage
      April 22, 2013, 3:06 pm

      The youth was displayed, he was not used as a shield.

      Anyone can also see @ 32 seconds that the Israelis fired two crowd control rounds at the demonstrators while “displaying” the youth.

      Six of one, half dozen of the other. Under the laws and customs of war and the 4th Geneva Convention, the Occupying power is prohibited from publicly displaying, parading, or humiliating prisoners regardless of the motive involved; from using them as hostages; or as bargaining chips.

      That much should be obvious to anyone with eyes not blinded by hate.

      If the IDF only wished to display the prisoner, then you need to explain why they put him at risk of reprisal by firing two rounds at the spectators while he was on display? It seems that you are blinded by stupidity.

    • marc b.
      April 22, 2013, 3:09 pm

      obsidian, there is a long documented history of the use of Palestinian civilians by the IDF as human shields. in fact the IDF argued in legal proceedings that its policy of using human shields is/was humane and is/was intended to reduce the risk of harm to other Palestinians. it’s all there in black and white. you can read the court documents in English or Hebrew (assuming that you have eyes not blinded by hate), whatever your preference. and the implication of your statement is nonsensensical. the ‘display’ logic implies that the soldiers were attempting to defuse a tense situation. so one would have to wonder why they were casually firing off a few rounds in the direction of other Palestinians if that was their intent.

      • Shingo
        April 24, 2013, 2:36 am

        Good post Marc,

        Here is the report in English.

        IDF to appeal human shield ban

        The practice of using human shields is against international law
        The Israeli Defence Ministry will appeal against a supreme court ruling banning the use of Palestinian human shields in raids, officials said.

        link to news.bbc.co.uk

        Perhaps Obsidian might want to explain why the IDF was appealing against such a ban if they never used human shields.

        No doubt, he will suggest the IDF is self hating.

      • marc b.
        April 24, 2013, 10:07 am

        we can’t be too harsh, though, shingo. the IDF is the ‘most moral, best trained army’ in the world. how couldn’t it be? see, for example, monty python’s IDF skit.

      • Hostage
        April 24, 2013, 1:26 pm

        Perhaps Obsidian might want to explain why the IDF was appealing against such a ban if they never used human shields.

        That is actually the way it played out IIRC. The plaintiffs asked the High Court of Justice to issue an preliminary injunction prohibiting the practice of using Palestinians as human shields. The government argued that it didn’t do that. The Court responded that, without objection, it would grant the plaintiffs petition. That’s when the government complained that the order might interfere in other legitimate practices, like the IDF “neighbor policy”. The Court subsequently found the neighbor policy was illegal and granted the petition.

      • marc b.
        April 24, 2013, 4:50 pm

        hostage, the respondents (IDF) originally issued orders prohibiting the use of ‘human shields’ without admitting that such a practice existed. the orders were issued apparently as a legal tactic, the argument being that if such a policy was prohibited, there was no longer a need for the injunction or suit. the petitioners (adalah) argued that the so-called ‘neighbor policy’ (early warning procedure) was in effect synonymous with the use of ‘human shields’. it seems that the IDF argument was more semantic than legal or factual, the whole concept of voluntariness of the ‘neighbor’ policy being called into question, I believe. the injection of ‘voluntariness’ (to distinguish the ‘neighbor’ policy from the use of human shields), even if assumed for argument’s sake, doesn’t change the fact that the volunteer is performing a function which effectively reduces the risk of harm to israeli soldiers while subjecting the ‘volunteer’ to a greater risk of harm.

      • Hostage
        April 25, 2013, 11:03 am

        Marc b. that’s about the way I remembered it, i.e. that the IDF tried to obscure its criminal practices and engaged in the use of semantics to disguise them.

    • American
      April 22, 2013, 3:15 pm

      Obsidian says:
      April 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm
      + Show content
      The youth was displayed, he was not used as a shield.
      That much should be obvious to anyone with eyes not blinded by hate.>>>>

      Well l was getting to comment that in this case the IDF might be telling the truth (but maybe because they were hugely outnumbered) about wanting to show their captive wasn’t seriously harmed to prevent further incitement.

      As for your ‘blinded by hate’ nonsense…lol….you expect people to like you?
      What stands out most about zionist is how they hate ‘others’ and how they only care about themselves ……so really, why should anyone care about you when care for no one else?…that’s not how the ordinary unsaintly human world works.

      • Hostage
        April 24, 2013, 6:46 am

        Well l was getting to comment that in this case the IDF might be telling the truth (but maybe because they were hugely outnumbered) about wanting to show their captive wasn’t seriously harmed to prevent further incitement.

        It doesn’t really matter. Embarrassing, humiliating, or displaying prisoners in order to satisfy public curiosity is still prohibited by Article 27 of the 4th Geneva Convention. In this example, the Israelis put the prisoner in harm’s way when they fired on the demonstrators, while making a public spectacle of a protected person in their custody.

    • RoHa
      April 22, 2013, 8:30 pm

      “That much should be obvious to anyone with eyes not blinded by hate.”

      And what do you think causes all this hate?

    • Shingo
      April 23, 2013, 7:44 am

      A shield need no be invisible to be a shield. That much should be obvious to anyone with eyes not blinded by Zionism.

    • K Renner
      April 24, 2013, 11:09 am

      You know, the word “hate” in this conflict is starting to cease to mean anything, much like “anti Semitism”.

      The only ones who display hatred in its usual form here are the apologists, like you.

  6. Cliff
    April 22, 2013, 12:30 pm

    The Israelis legalize torture and human shield usage.

    This is unsurprising.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    April 22, 2013, 3:14 pm

    RE: “[T]he Israeli boasted that when his unit would raid Palestinian homes in the West Bank, they would always grab a young man off the street to act as a human shield. ~ Ira Glunts

    MY SNARK: Boys will be boys! ! !

  8. a blah chick
    April 22, 2013, 9:52 pm

    I can remember a picture from the eighties, I think it was in Time, which showed a demonstration by settlers angry over the pullout from Sinai. They had their children stand in the middle of the road to the settlement right where they could get run over. I can still remember one of them being a pretty tow-headed girl.

    But remember that only Arabs use people as human shields.

  9. iResistDe4iAm
    April 24, 2013, 11:01 am

    What’s another Palestinian human shield to the country that uses Jewish settlers as human shields by deliberately placing ~600,000 of its own civilians in subsidised settlements on stolen land in occupied enemy territories (territories with which it is still technically at war).

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