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Video: 12-year old Palestinian recounts detention and abuse by Israeli soldiers

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Here’s an incident that would have not gained any attention had cameras not been rolling: Abdullah Dwaik, 12, was on his way to his grandparents’ house in Hebron earlier this months when he happened upon a chaotic scene of Israeli soldiers arresting other children that ended with Dwaik being blindfolded on an army base.

“I kept on walking, but then I saw soldiers in front of me and behind me, then a group of soldiers came out of their jeeps,” Dwaik said in a interview produced by the Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT), a collection of internationals who volunteer to monitor human rights violations in the West Bank.

In a recording of the interview, the video cuts between Dwaik recounting the October 13, 2017 events and shots of soldiers hastily detaining the minors. At first the children are rounded up on Hebron’s unpaved streets. The soldiers take them to a nearby checkpoint. CPT identified the post as Checkpoint 56, an Israeli army crossing that divides Hebron in half where one side is under the security control of the Palestinian government and one side is under the jurisdiction of the Israeli military.

Later footage shows soldiers swiftly locking the minors inside of a metal cage situated at the checkpoint. A crowd gathers around and the next shot captures around 30 soldiers, journalists and Palestinian bystanders are in the area. The scene is calm enough that the soldiers do not seem to pay any attention to the onlookers and journalists. In a daily incident report compiled by the Palestinian government, the event was logged as “Israeli forces raided Hebron city”–without noting any children were detained. 

The exact details of what occurred when Dwaik was detained is not explained. His narration is spliced between shots of the Palestinian children in and around the cage: “The soldiers dragged us to the checkpoint then to the military base. They beat us and afterwards they handcuffed and blindfolded us,” Dwaik said.

Next he explains he and the others were held for three hours at an army base in Hebron before being released:

“All of them came inside, almost ten soldiers. The soldiers hit 18 of us. They hit us hard and hit some of the other boys and others were hit in the eyes. Some of the boys couldn’t see or walk. They hit a ten year old boy and threw him on the floor and they told him if they saw him again, he would be arrested. They threatened us and said that they would arrest us again and will demolish our house. They took me and interrogated me and asked me to give the names of other boys. I said I don’t know and they started to threaten me. And told me to tell them so that I can be safely released or they will arrest my father. I was scared and I wished my family was with me. Ofer, the settler, was allowed to be inside with us and looked at us.”

A statement from CPT said, “All of those arrested were later released without charge.”

According to Defense of Children International-Palestine, the Israeli military detains 500-700 Palestinian children per year. “The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones, and three out of four experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation,” says a factsheet on the group’s website.

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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8 Responses

  1. Marnie on October 25, 2017, 12:22 am

    The cowards. They prey on children; the only preamble is that they are ‘other’ children, therefore not really children at all, not afforded the cover of innocence that all children, but in particular jewish children are born with and have until someone or something snatches that away from them. As I listened to this child recount what happened and his calm demeanor while speaking, I thought about the trauma he suffered and the collective trauma of his family, friends and community at the hands of 18 to 21-year-old conscripts who’ve been fed a steady diet of might always trumping right, the land belongs to the jews, the arabs are the enemy, the arabs hate us, they tried to kill us, we are the masters here, etc., from the breast all the way through high school and at the height of all the programming awaits the army. The chance to show those arabs, those so-called palestinians, just who runs the shit up in here. The child they arrest, no charges of course, none are needed, they’re arabs after all, just little terrorists-in-waiting. They (army) file no report documenting what they did and why, just business as usual. Maybe it was a slow day. Maybe they were trying for a little ‘friction activity’, arrested the little terrorists. That’s okay though, they don’t fight back, they’re soft targets, so get your aggression, frustration, boredom, whatever that goes through the vapid mind of the 18 to 21-year-old greenshirts and call it a day. No report necessary. Who’s going to ask and who’s going to care. We’ve been told all our lives we can do whatever we want and to whomever we want and anyone who disagrees or doesn’t like it or some other whiny shit like that = enemy.

  2. Ossinev on October 25, 2017, 6:55 am

    Wow!! I just can`t believe how brave how stalwart how it has to be said supremely moral these IDF “soldiers” are in the face of these terrifying existentially threatening heavily armed ( each child appears to have at least two) Palestinian terrorist children. And it will be such good practice when they take on the might on the ground of the likes of Hezbollah ( under 10 year old Hezbollah children only mind you – the adults bite back ).

    Their Zio mommies and daddies must be so so proud of them !!

  3. Misterioso on October 25, 2017, 9:48 am

    Video: ‘Stone Cold Justice’ on Israel’s torture of Palestinian children

    “A film produced by a group of Australian journalists has sparked an international outcry against Israel after it explicitly detailed Tel Aviv’s use of torture against Palestinian children.

    “The film, titled ‘Stone Cold Justice’ documents how Palestinian children, who have been arrested and detained by Israeli forces, are subjected to physical abuse, torture and forced into false confessions and pushed into gathering intelligence on Palestinian activists. Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop has spoken out against Israeli’s use of torture stating that ‘I am deeply concerned by allegations of the mistreatment of Palestinian children,’ Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has described the human rights abuses documented in the film as ‘intolerable.’ But rights groups have slammed this statement, saying that the Israelis are doing nothing to change Tel Aviv’s policy to torture Palestinian children.

    “Last year a report by the United Nations International Emergency Children’s Fund or UNICEF concluded that Palestinian children are often targeted in night arrests and raids of their homes, threatened with death and subjected to physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault. The film Stone Cold Justice has sparked an international outcry about Israel’s treatment of children in Israeli jails. However, rights groups have criticized Tel Aviv for not doing anything to create a policy that protects Palestinian children against arbitrary arrest and torture.”

    Precarious Childhood: Arrests of Jerusalemite Children
    “This film addresses the process of arrest, interrogation, and the policy of house arrest and their effects on children. The film provides accounts of children who were arrested in order to highlight a larger policy of persecution and targeting of Palestinian children in Jerusalem.”

  4. JosephA on October 25, 2017, 11:10 am

    The IDF soldiers have become dehumanized, they are no longer human if they can’t see Palestinian children as humans who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Sad.

  5. Misterioso on October 25, 2017, 12:33 pm

    For the record:

    Just received from Canadian friend:

    ‘Roger Waters’ BDS activism welcomed by Independent Jewish Voices”
    Independent Jewish Voices Canada
    October 23, 2017


    “Rock legend Roger Waters of Pink Floyd recently kicked off a cross-Canada tour in Toronto, where he was met by groups both supporting and opposing his activism in support of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. Among the groups opposing Waters’ message is the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), which has launched a campaign to mobilize its base in protest.

    “In a recent e-mail to supporters, CIJA opens by noting that although the Jewish community is ‘remarkably diverse in its views,’ one thing that ‘unites us’ is opposition to BDS, a movement they claim is ‘tainted with antisemitism.’

    “Disunity among Jews on the question of BDS
    Readers who follow the work of Independent Jewish Voices Canada will know that CIJA’s claim of Jewish unity on this issue is simply untrue. CIJA head Shimon Fogel should know this from IJV’s repeated attempts to have him engage in a public discussion regarding BDS.

    “The fact is that Jews around the world are increasingly divided over the issue. According to a recent study by the Brand Israel Group, 2010-2016 showed an unprecedented 27 per cent drop in support for Israel and an 11 per cent spike in support for Palestinians among Jewish college students in the U.S. Meanwhile, Jewish Voice for Peace — a leader in the BDS movement — is experiencing rapid growth and is widely claimed to be among the fastest growing Jewish organizations in the States.

    “Canadian Jews are moving in that direction as well, led by IJV. An EKOS poll from earlier in the year showed widespread support for boycott and sanctions among Canadians surveyed, including those who identify as Jewish. Further proof of growing support for BDS, particularly among young Jews in Canada, was demonstrated at a recent Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) dinner held by IJV’s campus chapter at McGill. The event, covered by the McGill Daily, attracted dozens of Jewish undergraduate students who were thrilled to have found a communal space that allows them to embrace their religion and culture while simultaneously supporting the Palestinians, including through BDS.

    “The antisemitism charge
    IJV as an organization stands vigilant against antisemitism and all forms of hatred and discrimination. As Jews active in BDS and the broader Palestine solidarity movement, we resent the claim that BDS and its supporters, including Roger Waters, are inherently antisemitic.

    “That there are, unfortunately, individuals out there who support BDS and hold antisemitic views cannot be contested, just as many antisemites out there ardently support Israel and its policies. In either case, antisemitism must be confronted for what it is, plain and simple. To brand an entire grassroots non-violent movement for human rights as antisemitic, however, amounts to nothing short of slander, and is clearly nothing more than an attempt to shut down debate on this important issue.”

    “Enough already with the blanket charge of antisemitism against those around the world who support the BDS movement. Indeed, the more organizations like CIJA employ this strategy, the clearer it becomes that they cannot refute the actual facts on the ground regarding the unjust and discriminatory policies of the State of Israel toward the Palestinian people.

    “IJV applauds Roger Waters’ courageous and principled stand in support of the Palestinian people and encourages other artists to join him. Together we will bring down The Wall.”

  6. shaun patrick on October 25, 2017, 7:13 pm

    Beyond natural outrage I feel something deeply disturbing is happening to Israeli society. The price Netanyahu and previous governments is making Israelis pay for their brutal and violent occupation of the Palestinian people is the loss of their national conscience and integrity so that the abhorrent becomes normal and what once horrified people no longer does. Israelis are desensitized to their actions just as Germans became desensitized to their persecution of Jews and minorities in the 1930’s and 40’s and we know how that ended. Israel is yet to learn the lesson of karma which says “there is no right way to do the wrong thing”.

  7. Kathleen on October 29, 2017, 1:14 pm

    Shared. Added a few clips of abuse on my fb page. More difficult on you tube to access other video clips of Israeli abuse of Palestinians than it was a few years ago. Of course most of us are aware that the video documentation of Israeli soldiers and illegal settlers abuse of Palestinians has grown by leaps and bounds the last 10 years, The abuse has been going on for decades

  8. Badia Dwaik on November 1, 2017, 2:49 pm

    Dear friends

    This child is my son
    I still roamed Europe where I spoke at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and gave a number of lectures on the tragic situation of human rights in I had heard through the assembly of defenders of children who were arrested but I did not have time to read the details , And watched videos and photos because I was very busy at the conference of human rights defenders in Ireland, I’m proud of him to had this courge in order to tell his story but as a father I’m so worry about my family since I still far about them to continuce my speak tour in Ireland .

    Thanks for your support
    Free Palestine

    Badee Dwaik

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