Israel Defense Forces soldiers earlier this week were videotaped detaining a five-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron, after he allegedly threw a stone at an Israeli car on Tuesday.
The video, shot by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, shows soldiers from the Givati Brigade stationed in the West Bank city detaining Wa’adi Maswada, aged five years and nine months.
In the video, one of the soldiers is heard asking the boy, “Where is Daddy?” Several local residents try to speak to the soldiers and deter them from proceeding with the arrest. One of the soldiers then tells them [in English], “He’s a child, eh?… No, but he threw it.” Another soldier says to the boy and the crowd, “Get over here, don’t set me off.” A Palestinian teenager takes the child by his hand and leads him off to the side. The whole time the 5-year-old can be heard crying.
Six soldiers can be seen gathering around the two, as the teenager stars telling the commanding officer from the Givati Brigade where the child lives. The child is led to a military Jeep, and the officer tells the child, “Climb in with me.” The child starts to flail and tries to run away, still crying, while residents start to gather around. An older person arrives and takes the child’s hand and they climb up together, as the boy continues to weep and is eventually dragged into the Jeep.
According to reports by B’Tselem, the soldiers arrived at the home of the Maswada family together with the boy. The mother was home at the time, according to B’Tselem, and the officer told the mother he was going to turn the child over to Palestinian police, but that they refused to take him before his father, Karem, arrived. Half an hour later the father came home, and the officer told him he was arresting the boy and turning him over to the Palestinian police.
“I asked the officer, ‘Why would you arrest a five-year old?’” the father said in his testimony to B’Tselem. “A soldier standing next to the officer showed me a stone and claimed my son threw it and that it hit the tire of a Jewish settler’s car driving north near the Abed checkpoint.”
The father said he tried to persuade the officer not to take the boy to the District Coordination and Liaison Administration. The officer told him he would be arrested as well if he didn’t let the boy go. . . .
Another video shows the father, his eyes covered with a piece of flannel, handcuffed, with the boy standing next to him. At the same time, one of the soldiers pulls out a digital camera and documents the B’Tselem field worker who is filming the events. According to the family, about half an hour later, a lieutenant colonel shows up, apparently from the local District Coordination and Liaison headquarters. Only after he arrives are the father’s blindfold and handcuffs removed, and the officer starts to interrogate the man. Relatives report that a Palestinian liaison officer later arrived accompanied by several policemen. The father and son were handed over and taken to the Palestinian police station. After a brief interrogation they were released.
Here’s the second video:
Read the full story from Haaretz here.