A Palestinian teenager recalls being forced by two Israeli soldiers to open bags suspected of containing explosives during Tel Aviv’s war against the Gaza Strip.
11-year-old Majed Rabah said he would always remember the "black day," the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported on Tuesday.
The Israeli offensives, which ripped through the coastal sliver between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, including 313 children.
"Every moment I remember what happened," Rabah said. "I could not shout or say anything because I was too afraid."
"The soldier dragged me 20 meters away. He pointed his weapon at me. He was shouting at me and I did not understand him, so he grabbed me and pushed me against the wall."
On Sunday, an Israeli court gave the soldiers suspended sentences of three months and stripped them of the rank of staff sergeant.
The leniency has triggered a wave of condemnations.
"This ruling implies that it is allowed for Israeli soldiers to use Palestinians, including children, as human shields, without being punished," said Ayed Abu Eqtash of the Geneva-based rights group Defense for Children International.
The Palestinian Authority’s spokesman Ghassan al-Khatib also protested on Sunday that Tel Aviv deliberately goes easy on its soldiers who commit violations of international law against Palestinian civilians, the Xinhua news agency reported.
"This will give Israeli soldiers a license to do whatever they like to Palestinian children. Many Palestinian children have died from Israeli guns and no one punished them," said Majid’s mother, Fatima Rabah, 49, Ma’an said.
She added that she did not expect justice from the Israeli judicial system and would prefer an international court to take up the matter.