Troops erred in detaining Palestinian boy in Hebron, IDF says

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli troops erred in detaining a 5-year-old Palestinian boy for throwing stones at soldiers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, an Israel Defense Forces official said.

“We made a mistake during the event, both in detaining the boy and detaining his father,” Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, the head of the IDF Central Command said, told commanders Wednesday during an operational assessment of the incident. “This incident caused more harm than good.”

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Following the assessment, Alon instructed commanders to clarify to their soldiers the protocol for detaining children, Haaretz reported. The legal age for responsibility is considered 12.

On Tuesday, the IDF opened an investigation into the incident.

A video of the incident was released last week by the B’Tselem human rights organization.

B’Tselem identified the boy as Wadi’a Maswadeh. The group said the soldiers brought him home, where they met his father and took them both away. The video shows the child crying and visibly distressed as he is put into an Israeli army jeep.

The father and son were held at an army base, where the video shows the father bound and blindfolded.

The two were later taken to the Palestinian police, who questioned them before they were released.