Video: Palestinian children lined up for photo in Israeli raid
The soldier lifts his phone to take a picture of the children – many of whom are elementary school students and younger – and implores them to “say cheese”.
The filmed incident, which B’tselem and the military say took place in the West Bank city of Hebron in September, was filmed by a B’tselem activist. We hear him challenge the soldier: âThey are children. Do you like it when the soldiers come to take pictures of your children?
The video comes after a recent report by former Israeli soldiers and the Washington Post described an effort by Israeli soldiers to collect photos of Palestinians in the West Bank for use in surveillance technology that could help the military identify offenders. Critics say the initiative is an intimidating tactic and violates the privacy rights of Palestinians.
âIt seems that for the military all Palestinians, including school-aged children, are potential delinquents. At any time, it is permissible to wake them up at night, enter their homes and put them in a queue, âB’tselem wrote in a statement.
The military said the soldiers arrived at the house in Hebron after Palestinians were seen throwing stones at a nearby settlement. The soldiers entered the house to identify the stone throwers, according to the army.
âWhile the soldiers were at the homes of the suspects, minors were photographed by the officer there to identify the stone throwers. The officers’ actions at the scene deviated from standard protocol, âthe military said, adding that a soldier had beenâ reprimanded for his wrongdoing â.
The military statement did not explain why minors had to be photographed to be identified or what action deviated from protocol. The military declined to answer any other questions, including about surveillance technology mentioned in the Washington Post report.
An article on the IDF website in June, which refers to surveillance technology in passing, says he was working to increase the use of technology by soldiers in the West Bank to help apprehend offenders. Palestinian law.
“We have cutting edge technology, smart cameras with sophisticated analytics, sensors, which can alert in real time to suspicious activity and the movement of a suspect,” Battalion Commander Uriel Malka said. “The goal was for all fighters and commanders on the ground to know how to best use these systems.”
In another development, international rights group Amnesty International accused a British heavy machinery company of allowing its diggers and excavators to end up in the hands of customers who use them to demolish Palestinian homes and build settlements in the West Bank.
The group said equipment from JC Bamford Excavators Ltd. is sold to an Israeli middleman, who then resells it to clients that include the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Amnesty said that using an intermediary does not exempt her from ensuring that her equipment is not used to violate human rights.
“JCB’s failure to exercise appropriate human rights due diligence on the end use of its products represents a violation of human rights,” the group said in its report on Thursday.
The company is one of more than 100 companies listed in a United Nations database of companies operating in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The company could not be reached immediately for comment on Amnesty’s report.
The international community overwhelmingly regards the settlements, built on occupied land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, as illegal. Israel rejects such claims, citing the strategic and religious importance of the land, and says the issue should be resolved in negotiations.
Also on Thursday, one of five Palestinian hunger strikers protesting Israel’s controversial policy of being held without charge ended his strike after reaching a deal with Israeli authorities, an advocacy group said. rights of prisoners.
According to a statement released by the Palestinian Prisoners Club, which represents former and current prisoners, Alaa al-Araj ended his 103-day hunger strike after Israeli authorities agreed to his immediate release from the so-called “Administrative detention”.
Rights organizations say Israel’s policy of detaining Palestinians without charge denies them due process rights, while Israel says there is a need to protect sensitive information which, if it was exposed, could compromise military sources.
Israeli security agency Shin Bet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Israel is under increasing pressure to release the five prisoners who have been on hunger strike for months. Last week, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza staged demonstrations of solidarity with the prisoners.
Hunger strikes are common among Palestinian prisoners and have secured concessions from the Israeli authorities in recent years.
A sixth prisoner ended his 113-day hunger strike last week after Israeli authorities announced he would be released from detention in three months.