East Jerusalem: Israel detains 8-year-old Palestinian boy

The Israeli police are ramping up arrests and attacks against Palestinian children. Targeting of children is nothing new in West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh and Bil’in. This afternoon, Israeli police raided the house of 8 year-old Ali Siyam in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

Police have been raiding house in Silwan in a bid to quell stone throwing by Palestinians against Israeli military and police. During today’s operation to take Ali Siyam, Israeli polices officers assaulted Siyam’s aunt and father, the only adults present in the house. Siyam’s aunt was shot in the leg with a rubber coated steel bullet as she attempted to protect the child. Locals say that his father was beaten and maced with pepper spray as police took the boy. Both were transferred to Hadassa Har Hatzofim hospital for treatment.

Siyam was taken to Jerusalem’s Russian Compound police station for questioning regarding alleged stone throwing. His lawyer, Israeli Adv. Lea Tsemel, was present at the compound when he arrived at the station. However, Israeli police did not give Tsamel access to the minor, refusing to allow her to be present during the questioning.  Tsemel disobeyed the police and attempted to enter the interrogation area. According to witnesses, Tsemel herself was detained in protest.   The child was released from custody at 20:00 local time after hours of questions.

Siyam’s arrest comes days after Israeli soldiers broke the arm of a 9-year-old Palestinian child in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Soldiers, in violation of Israeli army rules of conduct, fired a tear gas canister directly at the child from a range of ten meters. Another 14 year old child was injured from a tear gas canister before the demonstration was over.


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