Border Police officers detained a three-year-old Palestinian boy for a few minutes in Hebron on Tuesday. The police say the boy was sent to throw stones at the officers and then ran at them with a screwdriver and peeler in his hands, calling it a planned provocation.
A video clip posted by Palestinians shows a Border Police officer holding the boy by the hand for about 30 seconds. In the video, a man, apparently the boy’s father, can be seen asking the police to turn the boy over to him, but they refuse to do so for several seconds. At the end of the video, the boy can be seen clinging to his father's leg.
The Border Police released a different video taken by a security camera in which the boy can be seen approaching a number of soldiers on the street. He runs at them, then moves away and then disappears from the video. He later runs back toward two soldiers and one of them grabs him by the hand. The incident takes about a minute.
Ra’ad Abu Armila from Hebron, who witnessed the incident, said it began when the policeman called to the boy and cursed him and his mother. “The boy went home upset and later returned with a gourd scraper. He came close to the [police officer] and then the [policeman] grabbed him. The incident was in the plaza of the mosque in one of the corners, near the boy’s house.”
The Border Police said the incident was “a provocation that does not reflect the situation and was intended to paint the security forces in a bad light. The video is cut and edited. This was a young boy who was sent to throw stones at Border Police officers and with a screwdriver in his hand for ‘a stabbing attempt,’ and with his relatives watching him from a distance,” said the police spokesman.
“This is another example of the use of small children as camouflage as agents for terrorist activities, including children who were dressed up with explosive belts. Therefore, the soldiers must be extra cautious, even when it involves a small child. The boy held a screwdriver in his hand so the soldiers held the child and waited for his father to arrive to clarify the matter and release him at the scene within a short time,” said the police.