New policies of arrest and deportation against Silwan children
October 30, 2010

The Israeli security services are carrying out a new policy against the rights of children, who say claim are throwing stones at the private security militia that guards the settlers of Silwan. Undercover units of the Israeli security forces have begun arresting children - many of them under the age of 14 - off of the streets of Silwan, assaulting and beating them, and then hauling them in for interrogation. They are then made to post bails of up to 2000 or 3000 NIS, to be paid by the children's families, before being placed on house arrest outside of Silwan. Some children are deported as far as Hebron or Shuafat, and are placed on house arrest without taking into account the fact that they attend school. One parent commented that the Israeli police "are punishing children without taking into account their social or academic conditions. The Jerusalem Municipality does not provide them school services and deprives them of their basic rights as children. How can the police expect those children not to see the settlers as criminals who act with impunity and are beyond punishment? They published photographs of settler children and their parents side by side with Israeli soldiers throwing stones at journalists and Palestinians, but there was no investigation and no accountability." The father of Ahmed, one of the young detainees, wondered "what can they expect from the children of Silwan, when they see the soldiers curse their mothers at the borders? How should the children feel when they watch soldiers spit on their parents and behave so contemptuously toward the Palestinian human being?" The undercover forces have begun using a new method to detain Silwan children, acting as though they were harvesting olives until the children pass by, then suddenly leaping out and arresting them. This is what happened to Ahmed Hassouni, the 13-year-old who was detained this way and then deported to Hebron on house arrest.