The IDF on Saturday posted a 45 second video that showed Palestinian children
and young teens throwing stones at the Israeli military in Hebron early in the
morning of March 20 near checkpoint 160.
In the video, boys, some looking
as if they were in elementary school, could be seen picking stones up out of a
pile, throwing them, picking up more stones and throwing them again.
response to the stone throwing the IDF detained 27 Palestinian minors who were
on their way to school that morning, hours before US President Barack Obama
landed in Israel.
The detention was immediately publicized by the Israeli
NGO B’Tselem, which released a number of videos that showed the IDF detaining
the children as they walked to school, and then releasing them later in the
In one video, a soldier can be seen holding a boy by one hand and
his knapsack in the other, almost as if he is walking him to school.
second video, with older minors, the IDF can be seen pulling them away from
their parents. In one scuffle, a soldier and a minor fall to the
B’Tselem immediately complained to the IDF and the police,
explaining that they believed 14 of those detained were the age of 12, which
according to Israeli law meant that they were not legally liable for their
actions. B’Tselem added that it believed five of those detained were aged 8 to
In videos provided by B'Tselem some of the children taken away by the
IDF did look to be younger than 12.
The military legal advisor responded
that only seven of those arrested had been held for questioning and that he did
not know of any minors who had been held. The advisor said that the arrests
followed incidents of stone throwing as well as the hurling of a molotov
cocktail earlier that week.
On Thursday Judea Brigade Commander Avi Bluth
said that stone throwing at checkpoint 160 had become a daily occurrence. The
IDF, he said, detained 27 minors involved in stone throwing and since then, that
area has been very quiet.
B'Tselem spokesman Sarit Michaeli said that it
was important for the military and the police to adhere to the law which
prohibits the arrest of minors under the age of 12.
“Even if they [minors
under 12] are throwing stones, they cannot be arrested,” she said.
are other ways to deal with children that throw stones, said Michaeli.