Report shows Israeli soldiers used Palestinian children during raid

A report revealed that Israeli soldiers used Palestinian children as human shields during raids in the West Bank city of Tulkarm, the New Arab and agencies reported on May 13th.

The Defense for Children International (DCI) said that various children provided eyewitness accounts of Israeli soldiers forcing Palestinian children to walk in front of them in the Tulkarm camp’s alleyways whilst they raided civilian homes and expelled their inhabitants. The soldiers allegedly placed their rifles on the shoulders of two children and subsequently fired shots.

One boy, 13-year-old Karim, described how around 30 Israeli soldiers stormed his family’s apartment on May 6th. They then forced him to lead them through the home into other rooms.

“They took him to the stairs of the building, and they were accompanied by a huge police dog,” DCI said. “While they were walking, one of the soldiers put his rifle on the child’s right shoulder and fired two bullets at one of the building’s apartments.” 

Karim said he was “crying and shaking from fear.” “Whenever I begged the soldiers, they would scream at me and ask me to be silent,” he added. 

He also alleged that the soldiers physically assaulted him during the ordeal, describing how “they beat me on my lower extremities and my back for about five minutes, and they were telling me that I was a terrorist.” 

READ: “Has my leg gone?” Gaza teen’s own horror story

Another child, 12-year-old Mohammed, reported being separated from his family when they stormed his apartment. Soon after, the child was forced to knock on his neighbours’ doors and ask them to leave. Mohammed said he “cried out fear, terror and pain” and even begged the soldiers to let him go.

He recounted one soldier putting a rifle on his shoulder and firing several bullets at the roof. 

Fourteen-year-old Ibrahim said his home was also raided on May 6th. Soldiers took him to a room where they shouted threats of physical violence in Arabic, before he was handcuffed and forced to walk in front of the soldiers in the Al-Sawalma neighbourhood of Tulkarm’s camp. 

He said he was “trembling with fear” at the thought of being arrested.

On March 26th spokesman for the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF James Elder said that he spoke with a series of Gazan teenagers, reporting that they had said they were “so desperate for this nightmare to end that they hoped to be killed.” 

DCI urged that “detaining children as human shields is considered a war crime committed by the Israeli army.” They added that, since 2000, Israeli soldiers have used 34 children as human shields in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The New Arab and agencies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

[mc4wp_form id="206"]