This image taken from video provided by B'Tselem shows Israeli troops detaining Palestinian children near West Bank. AP
Israeli troops detained five Palestinian children for several hours after they were confronted by Israeli settlers while gathering wild artichokes near a settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank, an Israeli human rights group said.
B'Tselem released video of the arrest, in which heavily armed Israeli soldiers can be seen pulling the children away by force. Footage shot earlier shows the children gathering plants near the settler outpost of Havat Maon, when two masked settlers emerge from a grove of trees.
"This is another example of the absolute disregard on the part of Israeli authorities and forces on the ground to the well-being and rights of Palestinians, no matter how young or vulnerable,” B'Tselem spokesman Amit Gilutz said. "The youngest boy from yesterday’s incident is 8 years old,” he added.
The children, whose ages range from 8 to 13, were held for around five hours, according to Gaby Lasky, a human rights lawyer who is representing them. The two oldest, who are 12 and 13, and therefore old enough to face charges, were ordered to return next week for more questioning.
Havat Maon is one of dozens of settler outposts established without Israeli government authorisation, in addition to some 130 officially recognised settlements.
The settlements, which range from remote hilltop outposts to full-fledged towns, are home to nearly a half million Israelis.
Lasky said it’s "crazy” to accuse the children of trespassing in an outpost that was built illegally.
The Palestinians view all settlements as illegal and a major obstacle to their goal of bringing about an independent state including the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 war. The international community also largely views the settlements as illegal and an impediment to peace.
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Palestinian media said Samoudi was wounded while standing at her window as Israeli troops were firing tear gas and gunshots during a confrontation with residents of the city's Jaberyat neighborhood during the raid.
"The killing of young people on the borders of the Gaza Strip is a continuation of the (Israeli) occupation's crimes everywhere, in the West Bank and Jerusalem," Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem sa
The Associated Press said on Saturday it was "shocked and horrified" by an Israeli airstrike that destroyed a building housing the US news agency's Gaza bureau and those of other international news media. The White House said it has cautioned Israel about the importance of protecting independent media.
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