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Israeli Forces Arbitrarily Assault Two Palestinian Children

Friday, 21 August 2015 11:05 - [10 - 16 August] - Ref.: 80/2015
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iof_-_2015On Monday 10 August at approximately 7:00 pm, 'Alaa Samir Shabaneh, 15 years and 9 months old, was on his way home, when a soldier stopped him at the northern entrance of Al-Shuhada Street, Hebron, and asked for his ID card. 'Alaa responded that he is not 16 years old so he does not possess an ID card yet. Five minutes later, 'Alaa crossed the checkpoint and walked uphill towards the west of Tal Al-Rumeida. At Jilbert checkpoint, another soldier stopped 'Alaa and asked for his ID card. 'Alaa gave the soldier the same response. The soldier ordered 'Alaa to stand facing the wall and body searched him. The soldier then held 'Alaa's chin and lifted his other arm to strike him in the face, however 'Alaa blocked him. The soldier then pushed 'Alaa on the ground. Other soldiers came and tied his hands to his back using plastic ties, beat and kicked him. 'Alaa was blindfolded and taken to the military zone around 60 metres away.

Inside the building, one of the soldiers struck 'Alaa's forehead against the metal railing causing him to fall unconscious to the ground. The soldiers threw cold water at 'Alaa to regain consciousness. They then removed the ties and blindfold and took him inside a room. There, one of the soldiers poured his hot cup of coffee over 'Alaa's chest. Approximately an hour later, a military doctor arrived and checked 'Alaa then asked the soldiers to release him.

Four soldiers walked 'Alaa to a field of olive trees, and ordered him to walk away. 'Alaa told them that he does not know the way out and refused to move away from them. One of the soldiers held a sound canister while another readied his gun and pointed it at 'Alaa. Another soldier attacked 'Alaa and bit him on the upper right side of his back. At that point, a Palestinian man was passing by and 'Alaa walked away with him. Immediately after, 'Alaa went to the Hebron Governmental Hospital to undergo medical checkups. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10913/2015)

On Thursday 13 August at approximately 6:00 pm, Iyad Ahmad Al-A'awar, 43, heard a sound bomb followed by children screaming near his house. Looking from the roof of his house, Iyad saw his daughter, Majdoleen, 14, crying and calling him. He quickly went downstairs to see his son, Qassam, 10, at the end of the road crying. There were Israeli soldiers close to Qassam. One of them was in a shooting position, while the other two were carrying canisters in their hands. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10919/2015)

Qassam Iyad Al-A'awar, 10, recalls that he was walking home with his siblings, Nasrallah, 8, Mujahed, 9, and two of his five-year-old cousins from summer camp in Silwan, Jerusalem. When the children arrived to the stairs along the road leading to their house, they saw a group of young men with their faces covered, carrying stones in their hands. The children were tired from the uphill road so they decided to sit on the side of the street. In the meantime, the youth threw stones at a white Israeli car. Three soldiers stepped out of the car and ran after the masked youth.

By that time, Qassam was scared and started running and so did the rest of the children. Qassam stumbled and fell. One of the soldiers held Qassam's right arm to the back violently. Another soldier joined and started punching and kicking Qassam on his back. All throughout, Qassam was crying and calling for his father. He also cried to the soldiers that he did not do anything. The soldiers insisted that Qassam threw stones. Qassam remembers that he saw his uncle interfering and pushing away the soldiers. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 10920/2015)

Al-Haq condemns the assaults and ill-treatment that Qassam and 'Alaa suffered at the hands of Israeli forces. The use of force against the two children was unnecessary and unlawful. Under international human rights law, individuals must not be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and must have their right to liberty and security of person respected. Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, no child should be unlawfully or arbitrarily deprived of his liberty. Moreover, if a child is detained, he must “be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”

Accordingly, Israel must ensure the right of all persons, including children, deprived of their liberty to be treated with humanity. Acts of abuse may further violate Article 32 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 75(2) of Additional Protocol 1. International humanitarian law provides that protected persons are entitled, at all times, to be humanely treated and shall be protected against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults. Al-Haq calls upon Israel to abide by its legal obligations under international law. Al-Haq further calls upon the international community to take action to end Israeli impunity, including human rights violations against children.