On 19 March 2019, after school had let out, brothers Yazan (9) and Tayyem (7) ran back to school crying. They were followed by armed soldiers, who burst into the school and tried to arrest them for allegedly throwing stones. The teachers extricated Tayyem, but the soldiers arrested Yazan and took him to a nearby checkpoint. They released him only an hour later, after his mother had arrived. This is not the first time Israeli forces have entered a school or illegally detained children below the age of criminal liability in the West Bank.
On 5 Dec., at school dismissal, Palestinian children threw stones at Border Police officers in Hebron. Four children were apprehended and dragged to a checkpoint. Three were held at there for about an hour, interrogated and released. A fourth, aged 13, was detained overnight and eventually abandoned at the entrance to another locale. Every aspect of this incident reflects the approach shared by all Israeli authorities that Palestinian minors are entitled to nothing - not even to the basic protections the law gives them as children.
On 17 Nov. 2018, a 72-year-old resident of Tel Rumeidah, Hebron, called an ambulance when she did not feel well. After coordination with the military, the ambulance set out, but was attacked by 15 settlers. They threw stones at the ambulance, penetrating the back windows, and verbally abused the crew. Settler violence against Palestinians in Hebron is routine. It is part of Israel’s discriminatory regime of separation in the city and is rarely investigated. Without deterrence, these attacks are bound to recur.
"The policemen took me into Abu a-Rish Checkpoint (the Pharmacy Checkpoint) and kept me shut in a room there for about an hour. I cried and the soldiers cursed me. Then they put me into a white car. I heard the other boy who was arrested with me asking a woman soldier where they were taking us, and she answered, ‘To prison.” From the testimony of Zeid Taha, 6 years old, who was detained in Hebron by Border Police.
Hanaa and Jamal Karamah live with their six children Area H1, Hebron. In Aug.-Sept. 2018, soldiers came to their home in the middle of the night four times. First, they demanded that the parents come in for an ISA investigation. After they did not, the soldiers returned and arrested them, employing unwarranted violence against several family members. These night raids, which take place also in areas ostensibly under full PA control, have become routine across the West Bank. They are carried out with no need for a search warrant, whenever and wherever the military chooses. These actions, which are clearly designed to intimidate the residents, are completely unjustifiable.
On 31 January 2018, Israeli soldiers arrested two brothers, 12 and 13 years old, in Hebron’s al-Hareqa neighborhood, near which the settlement of Kiryat Arba was built. The soldiers claimed that the boys had thrown stones at the settlement’s fence. The soldiers took the two boys to a nearby military base, where they kept them for about two hours. When they released the boys, the soldiers threatened the boys’ family that should stones be thrown again at the settlement’s fence, they would return to raid their home and arrest the boys.
On Friday afternoon, 13 Oct. 2017, youths threw stones at soldiers in the Bab a-Zawiya area in the center of Hebron. The soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets and stun grenades and violently detained 18 youths, most of them minors. Soldiers routinely enter Hebron, disrupting residents’ lives and arresting youths. No-one explained what was happening to the youths or allowed them to call their families, and they were interrogated without an attorney or family member. This reality forms part of the daily routine of occupation.
On 13 Aug. 2017, Israeli security forces welded shut a door in the al-Muhtaseb home in central Hebron, using severe violence against a family member who tried to stop them. Their claim that this was needed to prevent “suspects” from passing through is unfounded. Even if it were true, it could not justify such harm. This is another example of Israel’s policy of segregation and restrictions on Palestinian movement in central Hebron, coupled with abuse, violence and daily harassment by security forces and settlers.
Israel’s regime of occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B’Tselem strives to end the occupation, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.