Palestinian boy, shot in stomach interrogated on video
“Give me water, give me water.”
So pleads a Palestinian boy, lying on the ground after being hit with a bullet in his stomach, as he is questioned by an Israeli officer.
The exchange is shown in a video apparently recorded by the officer and obtained by a settler group which uploaded it to YouTube.
“What are you doing here?” the officer asks.
“I came to kill myself,” replies the boy, accused of running toward Israelis while wielding a kitchen knife at the entrance to the Kiryat Arba settlement.
No one is shown in the video attempting to provide first aid to the wounded boy.
Amnesty International has previously stated that an intentional failure by Israeli forces to provide medical aid to a wounded person violates international prohibitions on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
And while it is unclear how the video – evidently filmed in an area under complete Israeli military control – came to be published, international law prohibits an army from exposing persons in an occupied territory to “insults and public curiosity.”
No Israelis were injured during the 13 September incident that left the teen, identified as Hasan Issa Jaradat, from the nearby village of Sair, with serious injuries.
In the video the boy gives his age as 15; some news reports have said he is 13.
Ten residents of Jaradat’s hometown – several of them children – have been killed in such incidents since late 2015.
Shoot to kill
Jaradat is not the first young Palestinian to have apparently attempted suicide in this way.
At least one Jewish Israeli has seemingly considered it a way to guarantee death as well.
An unwell Israeli man from a Jerusalem-area settlement was killed by soldiers after what the army claimed was a stabbing attempt earlier this year.
Israeli forces operate under an apparent shoot-to-kill policy encouraged by the government’s top leadership.
Another Palestinian boy was shot and killed last month after allegedly attacking soldiers with a knife at a West Bank checkpoint.
Witnesses told the Palestinian rights group Al-Haq that soldiers continued to shoot at Qutaiba Ziad Zahran, 16, even after he had fallen to the ground.
Extrajudicially executing Palestinians who pose no immediate lethal threat is Israeli policy.
Police were shown on video demonstrating how to confirm a kill to a crowd of Israeli school children earlier this year.
Interrogated in hospital room
Sixteen Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli fire so far this year.
Others have survived their injuries, only to be subjected to further abuses by Israeli forces.
The rights group Defense for Children International Palestine has documented the case of a 13-year-old boy shot by Israeli soldiers near the West Bank town of Jayyous in late July.
Mahmoud Qaddumi was wounded in both of his legs and his shoulder.
The boy was taken to an Israeli hospital, where he was held under guard and interrogated without the presence of a lawyer or family member.
The interrogator offered Qaddumi money and a smartphone in an attempt to recruit him as an informant against other children in the village who throw stones at soldiers.
The boy “is among the 500 to 700 Palestinian children detained and prosecuted by the Israeli military court system each year,” according to the rights group.
Defense for Children added that “children experience high levels of abuse during and after arrest, with the majority interrogated in the absence of a lawyer or family member, leaving them susceptible to coercion or recruitment as informants.”
Attacked by settlers
Israel’s military occupation and settlement colony enterprise in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – imposed for 50 years – exposes Palestinian children to routine violence.
Earlier this month, a group of Israeli settlers attacked 15-year-old Osama Daghlas, beating him and dragging his naked body and throwing him off a two-meter-high fence.
Daghlas had been sitting with his cousin, who managed to get away, when the settlers pursued them. The boy fell in and out of consciousness during the assault, which ended when one of the settlers threw a sound grenade next to the youth.
The wounded teen was discovered by a shepherd who had heard the sound grenade. Daghlas was treated for his injuries at a hospital.
Israeli settler violence has surged in the first half of this year, with nearly double the number of incidents resulting in Palestinian fatalities, injuries or property damage, compared to the same period last year, according to United Nations data.
Defense for Children International states that the Israeli military fails to intervene in settler attacks.
“Repeated failure by the Israeli authorities to hold settlers accountable for attacks will continue to result in unchecked violence against Palestinian children,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish, a program director with the group, stated.
The failure is inevitable, given that the soldiers are there to guard the settlements.
And yet when Palestinian children like Hasan Issa Jaradat are shot at Israeli checkpoints and settlements, it is they who are called terrorists.