In a new low, IDF threatens to detain 8-month-old Palestinian baby
Israeli occupation forces on patrol in the West Bank city of Hebron. (AFP/File)
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In a new low, Israeli occupation forces have threatened to arrest a toddler, an act that Palestinians say is collective punishment for ongoing clashes near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
The Palestinian Prisoners Club said that Israeli forces raided the town of Saeer and ransacked the home of Fadi Al Faroukh, a Palestinian killed by Israeli forces last year.
They soldiers ripped up the sofa cushions with knives and seized Al Faroukh’s car. Before they left the house, they spray-painted a written warning on the door threatening to arrest his eight-month-old daughter Fatima if Palestinians in the town keep rioting.
Al Faroukh was shot dead by Israeli soldiers last November. Israel claims he was trying to stab an Israeli soldier.
Hebron has been in focus after a wave of deadly unrest rocked Israel and the Palestinian territories since last October leaving over 200 Palestinians and over 30 Israelis dead.
Many attacks on Israelis have been carried out by Palestinians from the Hebron area.
Several hundred Jewish colonists live in a tightly guarded enclave in the heart of the city of more than 200,000 Palestinians, a persistent source of tension.
“We are taking the occupation threats seriously. We expect them to arrest the infant very shortly,” Abdul Rahim Eskafi, who heads the Prisoners’ Families Committee in Hebron, told Gulf News.
He challenged the international community to hold Israel accountable for such illogical and inhumane threats.
“The world has truly gone mad,” he said.
In August, Israel unveiled a provocative plan to clear the south Hebron Hills region to make room for more Jewish colonists.
The plan would effectively displace 1,200 Palestinian residents, naturally angering Palestinians who have taken to the streets to protest the illegal land grab.
The Israeli daily Haaretz published the document signed by the then-head of the Israeli civil administration Brig Gen David Menachem.
In the document, the administration promised to advance several massive construction plans for the area, including industrial parks, a medical centre and houses.
Adding insult to injury, Palestinians could be hired as labourers for the massive construction project.
“The last thing we want is to be hired as labourers in colonies illegally built on our stolen land,” Eisa Amr, head of the Hebron-based Palestinian activist group Youth Against Settlements told Gulf News in August.
He vowed that his group would organise peaceful protests and non-violent public resistance to confront the plan.
Four days ago, Israeli authorities shut down radio stations in Hebron accusing it of inciting public anger against the Israeli army.
An Israeli army spokeswoman could not provide examples of the type of content that led to the raid, but claimed it was ‘inciting violence’.
Israeli authorities have closed at least four Palestinian radio or TV stations since a wave of violence erupted last October.
Many Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli occupation forces during protests and clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians have also carried out retaliatory lone-wolf attacks on Israeli soldiers and colonists.
Analysts say Palestinian frustration with Israeli occupation and colony-building in the West Bank, the complete lack of progress in peace efforts and their own fractured leadership have fed the unrest.