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Israeli police detain, release 8-year-old Palestinian

July 23, 2015 7:15 P.M. (Updated: July 23, 2015 8:59 P.M.)
Israeli soldiers arrest a young Palestinian boy following clashes in the West Bank town of Hebron on June 20, 2014 (AFP/Thomas Coex, File)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli forces detained and interrogated an eight-year-old Palestinian boy late Wednesday for allegedly throwing rocks in an occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood, a local center said.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that Israeli border guards detained Abdullah Imad Idkeik while he was with a group of children meters away from his house in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of Silwan.

Idkeik was interrogated alone for an hour-and-a-half after his mother was prevented from accompanying him in the police’s vehicle to the interrogation center.

“Children gathered in the neighborhood as Israeli forces held a youth that was walking his dog. During this Israeli border guards detained Abdullah," Idkeik’s mother said.

"Some youths that were there attempted to prevent them but the forces pushed them away from the area and hit some of them with batons.”

The eight-year-old's mother and uncle were barred from entering the police station where he was held, and reportedly waited outside for an hour-and-a-half before the mother was allowed to enter the interrogation room with her son.

She said that an Israeli detective attempted to provoke her by telling her that her “son is impolite and should behaved right, you are like ISIS.”

She added that the police released her son under the condition that she sign a paper stating her son was not assaulted, and that her son was held alone in the interrogation room for only 10 minutes.

Idkeik's brief interrogation is common for Palestinian minors living under Israeli occupation, with around 700 Palestinian children prosecuted every year through Israeli military courts, according to prisoners' rights group Addameer.

In 2014, rights group Defense for Children International- Palestine reported that 93 percent of children detained by Israeli forces were denied access to legal counsel, while others endured prolonged periods of solitary confinement for interrogation purposes, a practice that also amounts to torture under international law.

As of March 31, there were 182 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons, including 26 below the age of 16.

The most common charge against children is throwing stones, a crime that is now punishable under Israeli law for up to 20 years.

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