Army Detained Israeli Girl, 10, for Five Hours in Jericho

Young protester arrested illegally after taking part in pilgrimage to ancient West Bank synagogue.

The army illegally detained a 10-year-old girl Tuesday near Jericho and held her for five hours.

The girl, who had been marching in a procession toward an ancient synagogue near the West Bank city, was subsequently transferred to police custody and released without questioning.

Emil Salman

A resident of a community in northern Israel, the girl was marching alongside her older brother when a force comprised of Combat Engineering Corps, reserve soldiers and Border Police halted the march and detained 30 marchers - virtually the entire contingent of demonstrators.

The girl said she'd stated her age to the troops several times, but that they had refused to release her. The soldiers also failed to immediately notify the girl's parents of her arrest, as required by law, which also stipulates that individuals under 12 are not criminally responsible for their actions and therefore cannot be detained.

Police at the Ma'aleh Adumim station to which she was brought realized the army had violated regulations and released her immediately.

The IDF Spokesman's Office said in response, "This was a grave incident in which unbridled force was employed against security services and IDF troops.

Due to the large number of unruly individuals, it is possible that a 10-year-old girl was loaded onto the bus that brought the individuals into custody. The moment her age was verified at the police station, she was immediately released."