Viral Video Shows IDF Arresting Vegetable-Picking Palestinian Kids at Behest of Israeli Settlers

“There were [dozens] of soldiers around, and one of the soldiers dragged one of the children to the vehicle and the other soldiers followed and started to arrest them… We begged the soldiers to wait until the children’s families could come and talk to their families, but that didn’t help.

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OCCUPIED WEST BANK — On March 10, five Palestinian boys hoped to spend their day foraging for vegetables south of their home in the occupied West Bank. Instead, they spent it detained for hours in Israeli custody.

“There were [dozens] of soldiers around, and one of the soldiers dragged one of the children to the vehicle and the other soldiers followed and started to arrest them… We begged the soldiers to wait until the children’s families could come and talk to their families, but that didn’t help.

“There were [dozens] of soldiers around, and one of the soldiers dragged one of the children to the vehicle and the other soldiers followed and started to arrest them… We begged the soldiers to wait until the children’s families could come and talk to their families, but that didn’t help.

The children — ages eight to thirteen — were violently arrested by Israeli forces in southern Hebron while picking akoub, a wild, thistle-like vegetable that blooms in spring. Video of the arrest sparked international condemnation and called into question Israel’s routine practice of detaining Palestinian children.

In the video, the visibly frightened children are seen being pulled and shoved into army vehicles by soldiers. Bystanders are heard shouting as the boys cry and struggle to get away from the soldiers.

Nasser Nawajaa, a field researcher for Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, captured the children’s arrest on camera. “One of B’Tselem’s volunteers called me and said, ‘The army is chasing children who are picking akoub,’” Nawajaa said. When he arrived from nearly two miles away, Nawajaa immediately began filming.

“There were [dozens] of soldiers around, and one of the soldiers dragged one of the children to the vehicle and the other soldiers followed and started to arrest them,” Nawajaa said. “We begged the soldiers to wait until the children’s families could come and talk to their families, but that didn’t help.”

The children were taken to a police station in the nearby Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba and detained from 12:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Nawajaa said. The two older boys, ages 12 and 13 — were called back into the police station for questioning on March 21 because they are over the age of criminal responsibility, which is 12 according to Israeli law. Nawajaa said they were interrogated for about two to three hours before their release.

Arrested at the “request of settlers”

The children were collecting akoub near the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Ma’on — notorious for settler violence. While all Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, they are not illegal under Israeli law. Only settlement outposts are considered illegal by Israeli authorities because they are built without government approval. Before the coronavirus outbreak, Palestinian children had to be escorted by the military when going to school because of frequent settler attacks.

Sarit Michaeli, B’Tselem’s international advocacy officer, said on Twitter that the children were arrested at the “request of settlers” for allegedly stealing parrots from the outpost.

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Viral Video Shows IDF Arresting Vegetable-Picking Palestinian Kids at Behest of Israeli Settlers

Jessica Buxbaum is a Jerusalem-based journalist for MintPress News covering Palestine, Israel, and Syria. Her work has been featured in Middle East Eye, The New Arab and Gulf News.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. These child killers think they are very tough – scaring little Palestinians, the true Semites and owners of the land. Its very sad seeing soldiers dressed up and heavily weaponized only to bully little kids – in the “only democracy in the ME”.

  2. The Israelis are doing a fine job of letting the world know what sort of depraved behaviour they exhibit while dealing with Palestinian children. Bravo, IDF soldiers you deserve a medal for this; you have succeeded in making the SS proud of you.

  3. They didn’t have permits to ransack those fields; they were destroying the Israeli food crops. All of the Israeli soldiers were wearing masks but not one of those delinquents were wearing masks. This was another biological, terrorist attack against Israel, Iran is destroying our beaches and using human shields to infect our people with disease.

    • Israeli food crops on stolen land? Masks outside? My bs meter is loudly beeping. Arresting children while wearing military gear? Is this your first day on the payroll? Children harvesting weeds.

    • And how does Iran come into play here ? Did you mixup or blend your scripts today ?
      Just about the only thing that you hasbara writers have not blamed Iran for is climate change. Might as well do it now that your ketamine dose is missing.

    • Right out of the Hasbara fellowship workbook!…..Chriswold your Troll is showing, 100 Shekel forfeiture for exposing the Institute…..

      BDS 2021

  4. Its amazingly dumb , that we have video phones and religious apartheid at the same time in history.

    And understand the abundance on the other side of the fence.

Comments are closed.