Palestinian children testify about cruel treatment by Israeli soldiers in new short film

Newly released today, Defence for Children International-Palestine Section (DCI) has produced this short film about Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinian children during their arrest, transfer and detention. Alone: Palestinian Children in the Israeli Military Detention System contains images of children who found the courage to talk about the appalling treatment.

For example, 14-year-old Ala tells how he was handcuffed and blindfolded during his arrest. “They [Israeli soldiers] put me in the jeep and transferred me to Etzion interrogation center. The interrogator told me to say goodbye to my friend Muhannad, because he was going to throw me from the third floor. No one was there to protect me. No one was with me. I was alone.”

Since 2000, around 7,500 Palestinian children from the occupied Palestinian territories have been detained, interrogated and imprisoned within the Israeli military law system. The film also presents basic information and the impact of their arrest and detention on families.

When 13-year-old Muhannad talks about his arrest, the look in his eyes is heart breaking. His father saw how Israeli soldiers treated his son, “It was as if they were coming to arrest a combatant or an armed fugitive.”

Interrogations are set up to terrorize

In 75 precent of the cases documented by DCI, child detainees suffered some form of physical violence during arrest, transfer and interrogation.

The suffering starts the moment a child is arrested and continues throughout interrogation and court sessions, explains DCI lawyer Iyad Misk. Children are often physically, verbally abused, insulted by soldiers during transport in the jeep. The abuse continues during the interrogation.

Children are also often enticed with offers of immediate release in exchange for confessions. However, what normally happens is just the opposite. Once a child confesses, he is sent to prison and his file is sent to the court. Interrogations are set up to terrorize, says Misk.

Nader Abu Amsha of the East Jerusalem YMCA Rehabilitation Programme says that the purpose of the raids, arrests and interrogations is more than getting information. It is to break the will and spirit of a generation. The purpose is to break the children and make them live in fear and confusion so they become an inactive, unproductive generation.

DCI’s latest film is an excellent tool to inform a wide audience about the ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system. The film can watched on YouTube, or copies of the DVD can be ordered from DCI-Palestine.




I have followed DCI for some years and read stories by Rich Wiles. Nader Abu Amsha is right in his analysis; the purpose of the agents of the Zionist entity is to break the will and spirit of a generation. If some react violently later, and few do, then so much the better for the occupier.

But in recording and rejecting the terrible barbarity that crushes precious children we miss the main point. Not one 'Israeli' should be allowed to lay a hand on a native child. ** If a child has committed a criminal offence, then only Palestinian police should question him. And throwing a stone, which is the usual 'charge', is not criminal. Throwing tear gas canisters, high velocity bullets and Hellfire missiles is.

** That famous 'international community' is there to enforce a modicum of law on the entity.


'Alone' is now available for Public Access TV stations to broadcast. Phone your local public access TV station and request they broadcast this essential film. Public Access TV stations can download 'Alone' in TV broadcast format from and then broadcast this film to your local community.

Adri Nieuwhof

Adri Nieuwhof's picture

Adri Nieuwhof is a human rights advocate based in the Netherlands and former anti-apartheid activist at the Holland Committee on Southern Africa. Twitter: @steketeh