Testimonies collected by the rights groups reveal a pattern of children some as young as seven years old being arrested in late-night raids, handcuffed and interrogated for hours without either a parent or lawyer being present. In many cases, the children have reported physical violence or threats. Particularly troubling, are testimonies of children under the age of 12, the minimal age set by the law for criminal liability, who were taken in for questioning, and who were not spared rough and abusive interrogation.
How Israel Takes Its Revenge on Boys Who Throw StonesIsraeli Troops Attest to Palestinian Youth Beatings
The boy, small and frail, is struggling to stay awake. His head lolls to the side, at one point slumping on to his chest. "Lift up your head! Lift it up!" shouts one of his interrogators, slapping him. But the boy by now is past caring, for he has been awake for at least 12 hours since he was separated at gunpoint from his parents at two that morning. "I wish you'd let me go," the boy whimpers, "just so I can get some sleep."
During the nearly six-hour video, 14-year-old Palestinian Islam Tamimi, exhausted and scared, is steadily broken to the point where he starts to incriminate men from his village and weave fantastic tales that he believes his tormentors want to hear.
In documents seen by the Independent, two Israeli officers have testified that troops in the West Bank beat, bound and blindfolded Palestinian civilians as young as 14. Both sergeants of the Kfir Brigade described abuses they say they witnessed during a search-and-detain operation involving hundreds of troops in Hares village on March 26.
This rarely seen footage seen by The Independent offers a glimpse into an Israeli interrogation, almost a rite of passage that hundreds of Palestinian children accused of throwing stones undergo every year.If the roles were reversed in Israel and Arabs/Muslims were in charge and employing the same sadistic, racist, bigoted and murderous occupation policies, the USSA and its glorified thugs in NATO would have already made up some lies, had their state sanctioned media outlets pass those lies, then invaded and destroyed that country.
Israel has robustly defended its record, arguing that the treatment of minors has vastly improved with the creation of a military juvenile court two years ago. But the children who have faced the rough justice of the occupation tell a very different story.
"The problems start long before the child is brought to court, it starts with their arrest," says Naomi Lalo, an activist with No Legal Frontiers, an Israeli group that monitors the military courts. It is during their interrogation where their "fate is doomed", she says.
Sameer Shilu, 12, was asleep when the soldiers smashed in the front door of his house one night. He and his older brother emerged bleary-eyed from their bedroom to find six masked soldiers in their living room.
Checking the boy's name on his father's identity card, the officer looked "shocked" when he saw he had to arrest a boy, says Sameer's father, Saher. "I said, 'He's too young; why do you want him?' 'I don't know,' he said". Blindfolded, and his hands tied painfully behind his back with plastic cords, Sameer was bundled into a Jeep, his father calling out to him not to be afraid. "We cried, all of us," his father says. "I know my sons; they don't throw stones."
In the hours before his interrogation, Sameer was kept blindfolded and handcuffed, and prevented from sleeping. Eventually taken for interrogation without a lawyer or parent present, a man accused him of being in a demonstration, and showed him footage of a boy throwing stones, claiming it was him.
Lawyers and activists say more than 200 Palestinian children are in Israeli jails. "You want to arrest these kids, you want to try them," Ms Lalo says. "Fine, but do it according to Israeli law. Give them their rights."
By the end of the interrogation Islam, breaking down in sobs, has succumbed to his interrogators, appearing to give them what they want to hear. Shown a page of photographs, his hand moves dully over it, identifying men from his village, all of whom will be arrested for protesting.
The video helped gain Islam's release from jail into house arrest, and may even lead to a full acquittal of charges of throwing stones. But right now, a hunched and silent Islam doesn't feel lucky. Yards from his house in Nabi Saleh is the home of his cousin, whose husband is in jail awaiting trial along with a dozen others on the strength of Islam's confession.
The cousin is magnanimous. "He is a victim, he is just a child," says Nariman Tamimi, 35, whose husband, Bassem, 45, is in jail. "We shouldn't blame him for what happened. He was under enormous pressure."
Child detention figures
7,000--[Figure corrected, with apologies for earlier production error.] The estimated number of Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in Israeli military courts since 2000, shows a report by Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP).
87--The percentage of children subjected to some form of physical violence while in custody. About 91 per cent are also believed to be blindfolded at some point during their detention.
12--The minimum age of criminal responsibility, as stipulated in the Military Order 1651.
62--The percentage of children arrested between 12am and 5am.
Or used bribes, threats and intimidation to form some 'Coalition of the Killing,' to bomb a Muslim Israel back to the Stone Age.
When it comes to beating up children, or using their heads for target practice, APARTHEID Israel has no peers.
It takes a REAL man or men to kidnap and beat up a 12 yo boy.
What a nation of sick and twisted, mentally unfit subhumans that have taken over APARTHEID Israel.
P.S. The original video seen by Catrina Stewart that revealed the "brutal interrogation of young Palestinians" was not available either at Common Dreams, nor could I find it on Youtube, so I substituted two others.