This disturbing footage shot by Palestinian videographer Samih Da’na and published by the Israeli nongovernmental organization B’Tselem documents the violent abuse of a developmentally disabled Palestinian child.
As Israeli occupation soldiers abuse the child, settlers and their children cheer and shout abuse at Palestinians.
Da’na shot the footage on 19 October from his home in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, whose Palestinian residents are relentlessly targeted by occupation army and settler violence.
According to B’Tselem’s description of the video, “soldiers are seen holding the boy, handcuffing him, blindfolding him and closing him in the jeep, despite cries by Palestinian residents that the boy is mentally disabled. The footage also shows settlers from Kiryat Arba, watching the incident from behind the settlement’s fence. Some are seen calling out encouragement to the soldiers, including several racist remarks.”
Kiryat Arba, an illegal colony adjacent to Hebron, is home to some of the most notoriously racist and violent Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.
In the description of the video, B’Tselem says that the occupation soldiers detained “a developmentally disabled Palestinian boy, who is under the age of criminal responsibility, on suspicion that he had thrown stones.”
“The boy, A. a-Rajbi (full name withheld in interest of privacy), who will be twelve in a month, was detained after Palestinian children threw stones at soldiers on the main road of the Jabel Johar neighborhood in Hebron, close to the settlement of Kiryat Arba,” B’Tselem says.
The boy was “handcuffed, blindfolded, and held on the floor of an army jeep for some fifteen minutes until his father arrived and convinced the soldiers to release his son, who is mentally disabled and cannot speak.”
While Palestinian youths do throw stones at heavily armed occupation soldiers as a form of community self-defense, protest and resistance, stone-throwing is also frequently a trumped-up charge used to extract confessions under torture and intimidate Palestinian children and youths into becoming informants.
Israel is the only country in the world that subjects children – and only Palestinian children – to military tribunals.
Also of note: At one point in the video, one of the settlers’ children appears to be holding an object that looks like a handgun (far left of the screenshot below). It is unclear from the footage if it is real or a toy: