RAMALLAH – An Israeli soldier was filmed kicking and slapping a 12-year-old Palestinian boy at the Tel Romaida neighborhood in the West Bank city of Hebron.
In the video, which was uploaded to the Internet and distributed by the pro-Palestinian group International Solidarity Movement (ISM), the soldier serving in the Kfir Brigade is seen shoving another boy.
The incident took place on Saturday during a heated exchange of words between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian boys near a lookout post in a section of the city under Israeli military control. It was caught on tape by the ISM.
At a certain point one of the soldiers calls a Palestinian boy “dummy” and “son of a bitch” and then grabs his head and kicks him. The one who was kicked holds his leg briefly and screams. The soldiers then run off down the road, apparently after other Palestinian children who are not visible in the frame.
The video does not shed light on the circumstances behind the incident. The ISM said it occurred while Jewish settlers were “causing trouble” on the roof of a private Palestinian home.
The video went viral a month after Israeli soldiers in Hebron detained a 5-year-old boy for throwing rocks at Jewish motorists and later handcuffed and blindfolded his father. Videos of the incident, filmed by several activists working with the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, were uploaded to YouTube and quickly went viral, sparking online criticism of the army’s conduct.
Hebron was divided to two areas according to Wye River agreement, signed by then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in 1998.
H1 area, under complete Palestinian control, and H2, which is under Israeli security control. The number of Palestinian living in the two areas is around 150,000. The total number of Jewish settlers living in H2 is about 400 permanent residents.
Israeli government policy in H2 has forced thousands of Palestinian residents to abandon more than 1,000 homes and at least 1,829 businesses and turned the area into a ghost town, B’Tselem and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said.