Here is a disturbing video of two eight-year-old Palestinian boys being detained by Israeli soldiers outside a refugee camp near occupied Hebron. “I saw you were about to throw stones,” a soldier says. It is on B’Tselem’s Facebook page, along with a description of sexist comments by the soldier: he repeatedly asks the boys if they agree that the B’Tselem photographer is “ugly.”
You have to open your eyes to really see the occupation. The occupation is soldiers not just on security missions, but also chasing an eight-year-old kid who may have thrown a stone. It’s soldiers not only guarding borders, but also maintaining the daily oppression of civilians. It’s soldiers not only ignoring their duty to protect local residents, but sometimes harassing them for no reason. Such harassment can be merely a snide remark, or it can be much worse.
On 8 Jan. 2014, B’Tselem field researchers Manal Ja’abri and Musa Abu Hashhash encountered soldiers detaining two eight-year-old boys at the entrance to al-‘Arrub refugee camp: Ahmad al-Ghreidi and Hilmi al-Ghreidi. Manal Ja’abri began documenting the incident with her video camera and insisted on her right to do so, after soldiers initially tried to prevent her from filming. The children were released some ten minutes later. A lieutenant who was on the scene spoke to the children throughout the incident, although he had been explicitly told that they do not understand Hebrew. Speaking ostensibly pleasantly, clearly acting for the camera, he then proceeded to insult Ja’abri. After that, he and another soldier had their photographs taken with her, without her consent – as one said, “just like in the zoo”.