World News‎ > ‎

Five-Year-Old Detained By Israeli Army Says He Was Throwing Stone At A Dog

posted 12 Jul 2013, 05:11 by Mpelembe   [ updated 12 Jul 2013, 05:12 ]

A five-year-old boy who was detained by the Israeli army in Hebron for throwing a stone says he was aiming at a dog.

HEBRONWEST BANK (JULY 12, 2013) (REUTERS) -  A five-year-old Palestinian boy who was detained by the Israeli army in theWest Bank city of Hebron for throwing a stone, said on Friday (July 12) that he had been aiming at a dog.

In a statement, the Israeli army said Wadi Maswadeh's stone-throwing had endangered passers-by.

Video footage taken by Israeli human rights group B'Tselem of Tuesday's (July 9) incident showed Maswadeh crying as he was surrounded by soldiers on a street inHebron. He was then made to board a military jeep accompanied by an adult.

B'Tselem said troops took Maswadeh home, picking up his father and holding them both for another half-hour, during which the father was bound and blindfolded. The two were then handed over to Palestinian police, who questioned and released them.

Wadi and his father Karam Maswadeh recalled events leading up to the detention.

"I saw a dog and threw a stone at it. Then a settler left his car and called the soldiers. They came toward me and they called my father and my father's friend was here and he asked my father to come. And my father came," Wadi Maswadehsaid.

Karam said the army wanted to bind the boy's hands.

"I came to the house and found around eight soldiers in the house and my boy was hiding inside the closet. I brought him out and then asked them what they wanted from my boy. They told me they wanted to take us to the police. We went to the police, but instead of taking us to a police station, they took us to their offices here. They wanted to put chains on the boy's hands. I told them you can't do that legally. Then they said: 'we will put chains on your hands'. So I said: 'no problem'. They put chains on my hands and covered my eyes. They took us to Shuhada street, they called the Palestinian side and the Palestinian side came and took us," Karam Maswadeh said.

B'Tselem said Maswadeh's handling by the troops was illegal as the age of criminal responsibility in Israel and its West Bank jurisdiction is 12.

In a statement, the army said Maswadeh's stone-throwing had endangered passers-by. More than 150 Israelis were hurt in similar West Bank incidents between January and May, it said.

In a report released in June, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child accused Israeli forces of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody, using others as human shields and denying them registration of their birth and access to health care, decent schools and clean water.

Arab residents and Jewish settlers live side by side in Hebron's old city and the city has been a flashpoint city in the occupied West Bank.