Israeli soldiers illegally photograph Palestinian children in middle of night

Israeli soldiers illegally photograph Palestinian children in middle of night

A screenshot from B’Tselem’s video, in which Israeli soldiers gathered Palestinian children to take their pictures, after waking them.

Israeli soldiers gathered and photographed 13 Palestinian children forcing them to ‘say cheese’ before snapping an illegal image. The children – in kindergarten and early years of elementary school – were forced to stand outside in a line. Several were trembling and crying…

reposted from Ha’aretz, November 17, 2021

Israeli soldiers pulled Palestinian children out of their beds in the middle of the night and photographed them illegally in the West Bank city of Hebron, a B’Tselem video shows.

During night operations in the area of Hebron under Palestinian control, known as H1, Israeli soldiers entered the home of the Dana family, forcing the parents to wake up and gather their children. The soldiers were filmed by an activist of the B’Tselem organization. According to the daily Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the incident took place in September.

The Palestinian parents, calming their children, obeyed all the soldiers’ orders. The 13 minors, all of whom were in kindergarten and early years of elementary school, were forced to stand outside in a line. Several of the children were trembling and crying.

The soldiers ordered the children to “say cheese.” Though the parents protested, the soldiers once again ordered the children to do so, and they obeyed.

Before photographing the minors, an Israeli officer is heard in the B’Tselem footage claiming the Palestinian children were being recorded because of a stone throwing incident, though he gave no details of which child was suspected of doing so.

According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s army said that the officer’s conduct was “improper,” including his “comment at the incident.”

“The officer was reprimanded over his conduct, and procedures will be sharpened among the forces to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents,” the army said.

The army also brought up a stone throwing incident, arguing the officer’s actions were intended to help identify Palestinian suspects who threw stones toward Kiryat Arba, an Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron. It is illegal for Israeli soldiers to photograph minors.

The B’Tselem organization said that the footage illustrates “how arbitrarily the routine of the lives of Palestinians living under occupation is disrupted, and how easily soldiers violate their rights.”

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