A joint investigation by Four Corners and The Australian newspaper reveals evidence that shows the army is targeting Palestinian boys for arrest and detention.
The program focuses on the stories of three boys. In two cases the army came for the children in the middle of the night, before taking them to unknown locations where they are questioned. A mother of one of the boys described the scene:
“Every soldier stood at the door of a room. I was telling him ‘What do you want with him?’ He said ‘Shut up woman.’ And then they started hitting him and pulling him out of bed.”
“They started kicking me with their boots in my stomach, slaps on my face. They pulled me up by my t-shirt and took me out of bed.” [Arrested boy]
Palestinians recognise this daily treatment as a part of the overarching Apartheid system, a plan to make life intolerable.
“I think that they want to kick us out of here and drive us away because they don’t want Arabs in this area.”
It’s a claim that’s dismissed out of hand by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
“Let me say this very clearly. There is no such policy. A policy to create fear? There is no such thing. The only policy is to maintain law and order, that’s all. If there’s no violence, there’s no law enforcement.” Yigal Palmor
The United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) has been investigating these claims and last year released a scathing report finding that “children have been threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault.”
As Four Corners discovered, though, Palestinian children have more to fear than the Israeli army. Reporter John Lyons shows clear evidence that Israeli settlers in the West Bank regularly attack Palestinian school children, knowing the authorities will not intervene. He also discovers there are two legal systems operating. One for Israeli children and one for young Palestinians. It’s an impossible situation that may provide temporary security for Israel, but in the long term may well breed a new generation of Palestinians prepared to do anything to gain retribution.
via The Australian and more from ABC here.