Israel Border Police Beat, Detain 9-year-old Jewish Boy in Hebron

Incident occurs after a group of Jewish children began playing in the lot between the house recently occupied by Jewish settlers and a nearby closed military zone.

Israel Border Police detained and beat a nine-year-old Jewish resident of Hebron on Saturday, after he entered a closed military zone near the house that was recently occupied by settlers.

The event occurred around 7 A.M., after a group of Jewish children began playing in the lot between the house and a nearby closed military zone. According to eyewitnesses, at a certain point, the boy entered the closed military zone.

Hebron - Olivier Fitoussi - April 2012
Olivier Fitoussi

A Border Police officer choked the boy, and held him in the air for approximately 10 minutes. Residents who were praying at the nearby Tomb of the Patriarchs were able to release the child from the officer’s hands. Two were arrested on suspicion of attacking the officer. The child’s parents lodged a complaint with the Justice Ministry's department for the investigation of police officers on Sunday.

In the wake of the event, the child had difficulty breathing and suffered from pain in his back and chest. A children’s doctor confirmed the claims.

The doctor wrote that the child suffered wounds in the frontal area of his throat, as well as injuries and pressure wounds. He also found bruises in the back and chest.

The Border Police issued a response to the incident, saying it is “unfortunate that the incident was presented in such a distorted way.”

According to the statement, 10 youths broke into the closed military zone and began beating the police and security officers in the area. When the police detained the leader of the youth, a group of settlers began attacking the officers. One of the settlers grabbed the neck of the youth and pulled him in an attempt to free him from police custody.

News of the incident comes a day after the release of a video depicting a senior IDF officer striking a Danish activist with an M-16 rifle. The video, which was posted by the International Solidarity Movement on YouTube on Sunday, showed Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner beating youths who took part in a pro-Palestinian bike ride in the Jordan Valley.

Read this article in Hebrew