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Is Israel Afraid of Children?

Asira al Qibliya has a long history of settler attacks. Like many of the Palestinian villages in the West Bank, the community lost a considerable amount of land, confiscated for the enlargement of Yitzhar settlement.

the violent Yitzhar settlement

Settler attacks are a weekly routine; one of their main target is a Palestinian house situated on the village border. Israeli settlers - man, women and children - usually come during the day and destroy everything what they find on their way: houses, cars, agricultural tools. They are equipped with metal or wood sticks, and sometimes rocks. The army always accompany them, offering protection during the well-organized destruction of the Palestinian property.

For more information from a video made in the village, see the following link:

Villagers try to defend themselves with different non-violent tools, like fixing metal frames in front of their homes, to guard against rocks thrown by the settlers. But no prevention can save this small community, which already has serious numbers of boys arrested by the Israeli Army.

the house facing permanent attacks from the settlers

In the past two years, eight young boys were arrested, and released after a short time, but another youth, aged 15, was killed while walking on the road.

MPT was alerted by villagers on the 10th of June, in the case of two young boys who were arrested and taken by the Israeli Occupation Forces the previous night. MPTers were told that approximately 120 soldiers came to arrest two young boys, aged sixteen and fifteen. At one home, they entered the home through the roof, wearing masks. The procedure used in these cases are usually the same: soldiers send the whole family out from the house in order to search the home. Very often they destroy the furniture or other home appliances, as in these cases, the front door and the refrigerator. The threatened family waits outside, children are crying, soldiers are screaming and behave very aggressively.

The soldiers asked for each boy`s ID, after that they chose their victims, they handcuffed and blindfolded them and took them away in army jeeps. The parents tried continuously to find out the reason for the taking into custody of their sons, but the only answers they got were: “Your son is an enemy of the Israeli state”and “We need to take him.” One parent remembered that two years ago, his son was playing with a paper plane in the fields when a soldier saw him. The soldier came down the hill and throw a tear-gas canister toward the boy.

At the time of writing, MPT found out that the two boys are in custody at Huwwara Israeli Military Camp, where they were provided with a lawyer by an Israeli human rights group. The family will need to pay legal fees.

[MPT wrote a human rights report about this incident which was then said to human rights organizations, particularly, the UN organizations.]

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