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Israeli army to investigate human shield report

April 22, 2010 8:53 A.M. (Updated: April 23, 2010 5:12 P.M.)
Jerusalem - Ma'an - The Israeli army said Wednesday it would investigate allegations that a 14-year-old boy was used as a human shield by Israeli forces in Beit Ummar, a Hebron village, following a Ma'an inquiry.

The Palestine Solidarity Project (PSP) said at 11am on Friday 16 April four jeeps entered the main street of Beit Ummar as local children responded by throwing stones.

According to the PSP's report, as Israeli troops set up snipers on a rooftop, while others fired rubber coated bullets, two soldiers took the unidentified child by the nape and "forced him to walk in front of them as a human shield as they advanced into the town."

"The boy was clearly distressed so a third soldier grabbed him forcefully by the arm and put the boy against a wall where he was handcuffed and pushed into a jeep," the PSP report said.

Ma'an obtained the photos reportedly showing Israeli forces using the child as a human shield and subsequently detaining him.

After the detention, the report said six jeeps and one armored personnel carrier began using riot dispersal means. Live ammunition was also fired, the PSP alleged.

The child in question, the PSP wrote, is "seriously ill" after being "forced to swallow contaminated liquid," and was later released to his family after having been beaten.

In response, the Israeli army told Ma'an that "the allegations have been brought to the attention of the Office of the Military Advocate General, which has ordered that they be investigated by the military police. The matter will be dealt with appropriately, in accordance with the investigation and its findings."

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