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Video: Israeli forces seize 11-year-old boy

Feb. 27, 2011 12:19 P.M. (Updated: March 8, 2011 7:52 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A resident of the West Bank village of Nabi Salih videoed Israeli forces chasing and detaining an 11-year-old child.

The footage, from late January, shows two Israeli border police officers chasing Karim Tamimi, who turns to a woman in the street for help.

The woman repeatedly pleads to the police in Hebrew, "he is a boy," but the forces drag him to a van.

Two minutes into the video, the child's mother rushes to the van and begs the police to give back her son, and a third officer pushes her away.

The cameraman said forces detained the child in an attempt to pressure his 14-year-old brother Islam Tamimi, who is being held in an Israeli military prison.

Islam has been detained since Jan. 23 accused of throwing stones during the village's weekly anti-wall protests. His family's request to transfer him to house arrest was denied by a military judge.

A judge at Israel's Ofer military court postponed Islam's hearing scheduled for Feb. 23 until March 10, popular committee spokesman Joseph Dana said.

Court proceedings on charges against misconduct by Israeli forces during Islam's arrest are also underway. A rights organization filed charges after Islam was denied access to his lawyer or parents during the first five hours of his interrogation.

Dana said lawyer Gabi Laski would argue that Islam's testimony was coerced. However, the two trials are running simultaneously, allowing the possibility that the court could convict Islam and rule that the basis of the conviction was coerced.

In January, Defense for Children International said Israel's military had detained around 7,000 Palestinian children since 2000.

In its annual report, submitted to the United Nations, DCI said it was rare for children, or their parents, to be told the reason for the arrest or where the children would be taken.

"Children are frequently threatened and physically assaulted during interrogation often resulting in the provision of a coerced confession, or the signing of documents which the child has not had a chance to read or understand," the report found.

DCI noted that Palestinian children as young as 12 were tried in Israel's military courts, and said most children ultimately plead guilty "whether the offence was committed or not, as this is the quickest way out of the system."

Further, Israeli military courts impose sentences on most children detained.

"In 2009, custodial sentences were imposed on children by the military courts in 83 percent of cases, in contrast to a custodial sentence rate of 6.5 percent in the Israeli civilian juvenile justice system," DCI found.

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