Report: 3 children detained by Israeli forces while gathering herbs

Ma’an News

March 8, 2010

Bethelehem – Ma’an – Three
Palestinian children were detained by Israeli soldiers on Sunday as
they gathered herbs in At-Tuwani village, southern Hebron, a peace
organization reported.

The children, two 13-year-olds and one 14-year-old, were with
members of the Nonviolent Peace Corp group, Operation Dove, on
privately owned land on Khelly hill, near the Ma’on settlement, when
Israeli soldiers arrived in a jeep, a statement by the organization

"Three soldiers ran toward the children, took the shears they were
using away and pushed them in the direction of the jeep. The soldiers
made the children kneel on the ground for about ten minutes and after a
few minutes Ma’on’s security chief arrived. The soldiers forced two of
the children inside the jeep and the third one tried to run away."

A soldier ran after him and unlocked his M16, the statement added, and
pointed it at the boy, who stopped immediately. The soldier put him
inside the jeep with the other boys and drove the jeep away with the
three of them inside.

The three children were released 15 minutes later, they told the organization.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Hassan Al-Muhtaseb, 12, was released from custody
when an Israeli military court in Ofer prison ordered his father to pay
a 2,000-shekel fine.

"The boy was detained near his family home, and there were no witnesses
who testified that he threw stones at Israeli soldiers. No indictment
was filed against the boy. This hearing contradicts the 1989 convention
on children’s rights which Israel signed in 1991 according to which a
minor can’t be jailed with adults. Thus, we demand the immediate
release of Hassan," said one of the lawyers representing the child.

Hassan was detained last Monday with his brother Al-Amir, 9, who was later released.

According to Article 37 the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,
which Israel ratified on 3 October 1991, "The arrest, detention or
imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall
be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest
appropriate period of time."

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