Israel has summoned a four-year-old Palestinian boy from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya for interrogation.
Muhammad Rabi’ Elayyan was summoned by dozens of Israeli police officers from his home in Issawiya – a Palestinian neighborhood squashed between Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and the Separation Wall – and taken to a police station on Salah Eddin Street, not far from the Old City’s Damascus Gate.
Following the summons, Elayyan had to be taken to the station by his father, Rabi’, this morning. Wadi Hilweh Information Centre – a Jerusalem-based NGO – posted a video showing Muhammad crying as he is carried into the police station. Scores of Palestinians from Issawiya can also be seen surrounding the father and son, telling the young boy not to be scared.
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) July 30, 2019
The Israeli police claim that Muhammad was throwing stones at police vehicles, prompting them to send him the summons. However, the boy’s father Rabi’ has disputed these accusations, saying that his son was playing in the street with other children who ran towards Israeli troops stationed in their neighborhood.
Rabi’ told Palestinian news agency Ma’an:
“This morning I said to my child Muhammad ‘I will take you to a swimming trip’. I could not explain what happened. We were surprised when the soldiers were stationed in front of the police station on Salah Eddin Street.”
When the pair arrived at the police station, an Israeli officer eventually refused to allow Muhammad into the facility for interrogation, instead only taking his father in for questioning. The officer reportedly told Rabi’ that if he did not stop his son from throwing stones, they would take Muhammad away from him.
#شاهدحدث في #القدس .. الاحتلال يستدعي طفلا عمره 4 سنوات للتحقيق In Jerusalem…Occupation authorities summon a 4-year old for investigation
Posted by Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan مركز معلومات وادي حلوه -سلوان on Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Israel is a signatory to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child [UNCRC], which states that,
“Children should be arrested, detained or imprisoned only as a last resort and for the shortest time possible”.
The same convention also states that “governments must set a minimum age for children to be tried in a criminal court”; Israel’s military law considers children as young as 12 culpable for their actions, but does not permit the arrest of minors under this age. Their summons of Muhammad is therefore illegal under both international and Israeli military law.
Issawiya has been the target of a severe crackdown since mid-June, when Israeli forces began carrying out daily raids and systematic harassment of the neighborhood’s inhabitants, ostensibly in response to stone-throwing by local youths.
Israeli police summoned a Palestinian man for interrogation on Tuesday, claiming that his four-year old son threw stones at one of their vehicles. https://t.co/T3tNWrcv7O @chloejbenoist via @MiddleEastEye
— Azad Essa (@azadessa) July 30, 2019
The summoning of four-year-old Mohammad has been seen as part of Israel’s ongoing harassment of Issawiya Palestinians, which B’Tselem slammed as “an inseparable part of Israel’s policy in East Jerusalem pursued with the objective of securing a demographic majority for Jews in the city. This goal is pursued in part by devoting resources and efforts to making life in the city unbearable for Palestinians, so that they will leave, ostensibly of their own will”.
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)