The arrest of a 16-year-old boy by 23 soldiers shows the persecution of Israel against the Palestinian minors.
Take the picture above and start counting. One, two, three … So up to 23 Israeli soldiers are actively participating in the detention of a single man, a 16-year-old teenager named Fawzi Muhammad Al-Junaidi, a Palestinian from the occupied city of Hebron, in the West Bank. Some grab him, others escort him, some clear the way, while the boy is disoriented and scared, the normal thing when they arrest you en masse, they cover your eyes and immobilize your hands.
This photo, taken by local photojournalist Abed Al Hashlamoun and distributed by international agencies such as EFE , has become a viral phenomenon in social media that explains the ‘street fight’ by the Palestinians against the decision of the US president, Donald Trump, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and, even more, a symbol of the systematic arrests that Israel applies to minors in occupied Palestine. Children to whom the “terrorist exceptionalism” applies, to whom their rights are limited, as Unicef constantly denounces .
Fawzi was arrested last Friday, in protest against the step taken by Washington. The minor participated in the protests and clashes with Israeli security forces in his city, south of the West Bank, and the soldiers accused him of having thrown stones at them, which the child denies.
“I was afraid, I was fleeing when a tear gas was fired,” he argues. “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” adds his uncle. As reported by the child’s relatives to the Qatari television station Al Jazeera , the boy maintains that he was severely beaten with a rifle during his detention, which left bruises on his neck, chest and back.
His lawyer has told the British newspaper The Independent that the teenager is in the detention center of the settlement of Kiryat Arabain a situation of “administrative detention”, that is, without any formal accusation. The arrests that receive this label are of indefinite duration and in them the accusation is made with secret evidence and without clear charges, alleging security reasons. Initially, sentences of up to six months are applied, but they can be renewed indefinitely, so you never know when it will end. However, this teenager has been told that he will appear before the military court on Monday.
The case of Al-Junaidi is not, at all, isolated. According to the NGO Defense for Children International , it is estimated that there are 320 children in Israeli prisons today, although the number of arrests exceeds 3,000 per year.