This video shows Israeli occupation forces taking captive an eight-year-old child to use in their search for alleged stone throwers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
Filmed by two residents of the area who volunteer with the human rights group B’Tselem, the footage shows a terrified young boy being dragged around the neighborhood and into a building by a group of armed soldiers.
The boy appears distressed and at times in tears.
According to B’Tselem, Sufian Abu Hita was seized by more than 15 soldiers on 19 March, when the barefoot child went looking for his lost toy.
Kiryat Arba settlers habitually abuse Palestinians in the area.
“I went up to one of the soldiers and asked him to give me back my son,” Amani Abu Hita told B’Tselem. “He refused and said, ‘If you want to get him back, convince him to tell us the names of the children who were throwing stones.’ I tried to explain that we don’t live in the neighborhood and were just visiting my parents.”
“Sufian was shaking with fear. I saw him talk to the soldiers and tell them that he doesn’t know anything, but it didn’t help,” she added.
The soldiers held the boy captive for more than an hour. His ordeal ended only when several women intervened and rescued him from the soldiers’ grip.
A US State Department human rights report released this month notes Israel’s routine abuses and violence against Palestinian children, including subjecting them to military courts and prisons.
However, the new report omits reference to the slaying of 16-year-old US-citizen Mahmoud Shaalan who was shot to death a year ago at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank.
Defense for Children International notes that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson broke with tradition by not launching the report in an on-camera event that has traditionally been an opportunity to highlight key findings.
The video above offers more stark evidence of how Israel’s occupation targets and terrorizes children.