Israeli soldiers have been filmed harassing the boy’s family in recent weeks, using their home as a photo set, raiding it for no apparent reason.
Israeli soldiers in the Palestinian city of Hebron threatened to arrest a 14-year-old Palestinian boy simply for being in the vicinity of people throwing stones last month.
In a video released by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem in recent days, Israeli soldiers can be seen detaining the child, Maher Abu Haya, near his family home on April 6, 2015.
In the video, the soldiers argue with the child’s father. At first the soldiers claim that Maher was running away from them with other Palestinian youths who were throwing stones. Quickly, the soldiers change their story and admit that Maher wasn’t running away at all.
“Next time, he’ll pay for it,” one of the soldiers says in Hebrew. “He’ll have a big mess.”
Whenever stones are thrown, a soldier claims, Maher is nearby. The soldier doesn’t seem to comprehend that there might be other reasons than throwing stones for a 14 year old to be standing outside his own home.
“Every time somebody’s throwing rocks we see this kid,” an English-speaking soldier says. “If I see his face again — I don’t care if I see him throw rocks or not, he’s gonna go with us.”
“He’s going to go with me and he’s going to be tied up all night,” the soldier continues threatening Maher’s father. “And he’s gonna get punished and you’re going to need to pay to take him back.”
To sum up, the soldier says that even though the 14-year-old boy has not committed a crime, and even if he does not commit a crime in the future, he will illegally arrest him, keep him shackled all night long, and force his family to pay some sort of bail to release him.
According to B’Tselem, the family has been the target of Israeli military harassment in recent months. The human rights organization released video of soldiers entering the Abu Haya family home for no apparent reason.
Another video shows dozens of soldiers climbing onto the family’s roof, without their permission or even telling them what was happening — to take a group photo.
While Israeli soldiers go to extraordinary lengths to locate and arrest Palestinians who throw stones, the same cannot be said when Israeli settlers do the same thing. The Abu Haya family, whose members are volunteers with B’Tselem, has documented settlers throwing stones — at them and others — right in front of soldiers, who did nothing to stop them, let alone arrest them.