Moral Low Ground


Jewish Settlers Cheer as Israeli Troops Brutalize Disabled Palestinian Child

Disturbing video has emerged showing Israel Defense Forces soldiers violently detaining a mentally disabled Palestinian child while nearby Jewish settlers cheer and shout racist abuse.

The footage, recorded by Palestinian videographer Samih Da’na and published by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the Electronic Intifada website, shows Israeli occupation forces abusing a mentally disabled 11-year-old Palestinian boy near the illegal Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, near Hebron.

According to B’Tselem, the IDF troops detained “a developmentally disabled Palestinian boy, who is under the age of criminal responsibility, on suspicion that he had thrown stones.”

In the video, Jewish settler colonists from Kiryat Arba shout encouragement and racist slurs as the IDF troops violently restrain and detain the disabled child.

The boy was “handcuffed, blindfolded, and held on the floor of an army jeep for some 15 minutes until his father arrived and convinced the soldiers to release his son, who is mentally disabled and cannot speak,” according to B’Tselem.

Palestinian children had reportedly thrown stones at IDF troops on the main road of the Jabel Johar neighborhood in Hebron, near Kiryat Arba, at the time of the boy’s detention. Stone-throwing is a common, if ineffective, means of resistance for Palestinian youth living under the repressive and humiliating Israeli occupation regime, which has been in effect for nearly 50 years.

But stone-throwing, both real and contrived, is also used by Israeli occupation forces as justification for imprisoning and torturing Palestinian youth, who are sometimes intimidated into becoming Israeli informants.

In addition to the ongoing illegal occupation, Palestinian anger is stoked by continuing Jewish settler colonization of a growing portion of the occupied West Bank. Like the occupation, settlements are also illegal under international law, although the Israeli government and many Israelis dispute this.

Kiryat Arba, home to nearly 7,600 Jewish settler colonists, has a notorious reputation as a hotbed of anti-Arab racism and Jewish right-wing extremism. Dov Lior, the settlement’s chief rabbi, is wanted by Israeli police for his endorsement of a controversial book advocating the mass killing of non-Jews, including babies and children.

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