Undercover Israeli Forces Detain Children in West Bank Refugee Camp

Undercover Israeli Forces Detain Children in West Bank Refugee Camp

MIDDLE EAST 17:54 11.10.2016

The Israeli army and police have staged a large scale detention campaign across the West Bank, reports claim.

Reports in the Palestinian media say that 64 people, including 12 children, were arrested in a series of raids by the Israeli Defense Force.

In Aida Refugee Camp near Bethlehem, Israeli security officials disguised themselves as Palestinians, to carry out the detention of eight children.

They have been identified as Amir Ismael Elayan, Izz al-Din Badwan, Mohammad Wahid Qaraqe, Adam Mohammad Darwish, Mohammad Nasser Darwish, Abd al-fatah Abu Shera, Daoud Raed Sharara and Yousif Mohammad Jawarish.

Mohammed Alazraq is the international coordinator for the Lajee Center, a community organization that runs cultural activities in the camp.

He told Sputnik that the children were arrested while they were playing in the street.

“Aida Refugee Camp has been under several attacks by the Israeli occupation forces.

“Yesterday the undercover soldiers came into the camp near a garden where children were playing. They blindfolded all the children there, handcuffed them and took them up to a nearby military post. Two of the kids are not even from the camp and were just visiting a family there. All of the kids have been sent to Ofer prison where there are older prisoners there. They are being kept until they are sent to court,” Mr. Alazraq told Sputnik.

The arrests followed clashes in the camp where Israeli police shot tear gas and rubber bullets at stone-throwing Palestinian youth.

Aida is one of three refugee camps near Bethlehem in the Israeli occupied West Bank. It is surrounded on three sides by Israel’s separation barrier.

Monday’s (October 10) arrests came a day after three 14-year-old residents of the refugee camp were released by the Israeli forces.

Mustafa Budair, Omar Radi, and Mutaz Baraqa were detained in a raid of their homes on Thursday morning.

Mr. Alazraq says that the nature of such arrests is not uncommon in Aida Camp.

“A lot of kids get arrested and kidnapped from their own homes,” he said.

“Houses are raided at three or four o’clock in the morning and kids are taken from their beds and taken to prison. They are in held in very hard conditions in the same cells as adults.”

Sputnik contacted the Israeli Defense Force for a statement on the invasion but they had not responded to requests for comment by time of publication.