IDF legal adviser says detention of 5-year-old Palestinian boy was legitimate
The Israel Defense Forces’ detention of a five-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron earlier this month was a legitimate step in order to “thwart the threat posed by the activities of a minor,” the IDF’s legal adviser in the West Bank has ruled.
Earlier in July, IDF soldiers were videotaped detaining five-year-old Wa’adi Maswada and his father in Hebron, after the boy allegedly threw a stone at an Israeli car. The IDF opened an investigation into the incident following a demand by the Israeli human rights watchdog B’Tselem.
In a letter that legal adviser Col. Ben Barak sent last week to B’Tselem’s executive director, Jessica Montell, he explains that “IDF soldiers and Israeli security personnel sometimes encounter situations where children under the age of 12, without any parental supervision, hurl stones at civilians, vehicles and members of the security forces and participate in actions that disrupt public order.”
The letter, a response to B’Tselem’s complaint, stated that, “It should be pointed out that such incidents create a significant hazard for passersby and for members of the security forces and can even pose a danger for the children themselves, who are not at the time under the supervision of the adults who are responsible for their welfare.”
The IDF’s legal adviser makes it clear in his letter that minors under the age of 12 are not criminally responsible for their actions and therefore they cannot be arrested or placed on trial.
“However,” he emphasizes, “that does not mean that IDF soldiers are not authorized to deal with incidents where a minor is endangering the safety of the public, and is even endangering himself or herself. In our view, the security forces have the authority to undertake action in order to remove the hazard posed by the activities of these minors to themselves and to others…
Yada, yada, yada Israel…your words are as shallow as you are.