Israelis Cheer As Soldiers Attack Disabled Palestinian Child (VIDEO)

The harrowing footage below was published by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and captures the violent abuse of a developmentally disabled Palestinian child by Israeli troops, while Israeli settlers and their children cheer and shout abuse.

Here’s the video:

(Footage shot by: Palestinian videographer Samih Da’na)

B’Tselem’s description of the video states:

Soldiers are seen holding the boy, handcuffing him, blindfolding him and closing him in the jeep, despite cries by Palestinian residents that the boy is mentally disabled. The footage also shows settlers from Kiryat Arba, watching the incident from behind the settlement’s fence. Some are seen calling out encouragement to the soldiers, including several racist remarks.

This incident from the 19th October is just one in a long line of humiliating and dangerous acts perpetrated against Palestinians of Hebron by Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba.

B’Tselem continues:

The boy, A. a-Rajbi (full name withheld in interest of privacy), who will be twelve in a month, was detained after Palestinian children threw stones at soldiers on the main road of the Jabel Johar neighborhood in Hebron, close to the settlement of Kiryat Arba.

The boy was:

Handcuffed, blindfolded, and held on the floor of an army jeep for some fifteen minutes until his father arrived and convinced the soldiers to release his son, who is mentally disabled and cannot speak.

Also of note: At one point in the video, one of the settlers’ children appears to be holding an object that looks like a handgun (far left of the screenshot below). It is unclear from the footage if it is real or a toy.

So, does stone-throwing really warrant this kind of response?

Electronic Intifada considers the matter:

While Palestinian youths do throw stones at heavily armed occupation soldiers as a form of community self-defense, protest and resistance, stone-throwing is also frequently a trumped-up charge used to extract confessions under torture and intimidate Palestinian children and youths into becoming informants.

Israel is the only country in the world that subjects children – and only Palestinian children – to military tribunals.

More than 720,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been through the system since Israel began occupying the Palestinian Territories in 1967.

An October 2013 Unicef report found that during interrogation by Israeli Security Forces, Palestinian children had been “threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault, against themselves or a family member” in efforts to gain confessions for alleged offenses, most commonly for throwing stones.

The ABC report has put faces to these Palestinian children and families.

Here’s the video:

The Unicef Report stated that:

The ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.
It is understood that in no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights.

It is inconceivable that a generation of children, broken and traumatised by Israeli Occupation forces throughout their childhoods, will likely grow into a generation of adults who see peace and co-existence with such brutal an occupier as either possible or desirable. With its brutalization of children, Israel is sowing the seeds for a bloody and hate-filled future.