Israeli army arrests four Palestinian children in West Bank

Published May 25th, 2015 - 05:30 GMT

Israeli troops on Sunday morning detained four minors from a boys' school in the northern West Bank village of Farun near Tulkarem, local officials told Ma'an.

The secretary of Farun's local council, Ahmad Darwish, said that the boys were arrested near a gate used by Palestinian farmers to access their land behind the Israeli separation wall.

Darwish said that Israelis refer to the gate by its number "708," which is one of eight gates in Tulkarem operated by Israeli forces.

Darwish identified three of the four boys as Tariq Muhammad Fathi Badir, 12, Abd al-Rahman Sufyan Salih, 9, and Samid Amir Ahmad Omar, 13. The fourth detainee has not yet been identified.

Darwish said that the village council had contacted the Palestinian military liaison department whose director Muhammad Yasin said he had been in touch with his Israeli counterparts in an attempt to get the boys released.

An Israeli army spokeswoman's account differed from the Palestinian version of events.

She confirmed two arrests in Tulkarem, which she said came after four Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces near crossing number "407." She said that the other two "got away."

She said that one of the two Palestinians detained had been handed over to Palestinian security services and the other passed on to Israeli police.

She was unable to confirm their ages. 

The Israeli separation wall cuts through large swathes of Palestinian land in western Tulkarem district, and farmers can only access their land through the Israeli army-administered gates. 

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has noted that "many farmers have great difficulties accessing their lands, with gates only open irregularly and for short periods, sometimes closed for several days."

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