March 9, 2007

Israel using Palestinian children as human shields

From the Guardian (U.K.):

Israelis soldiers were filmed using Sameh Amira, 24, as a human shield on February 25, during a week-long raid into the West Bank city of Nablus. Mr Amira was made to search homes in the city's casbah, or old city, during a search for wanted men and bomb-making laboratories. The casbah in the centre of the city was placed under curfew for two days and a Palestinian man was shot dead when he went onto the roof of his home.

Mr Amira's cousin, 15-year-old Amid Amira, told B'Tselem that soldiers also forced him to search three houses, making him enter rooms, empty cupboards and open windows.

An 11-year-old girl, Jihan Dadush, told B'Tselem that soldiers took her from her home three days later, on February 28, forcing her to open the door of a neighboring apartment and enter ahead of them. The soldiers then took her home, she said. 

In August 2002, a 19-year-old Palestinian student, Nidal Daraghmeh, was killed when troops in the West Bank town of Tubas forced him to knock on the door of a neighbouring building where a Hamas fugitive was hiding. Gunfire erupted and Daraghmeh was killed.

Yesh Din, another Israeli human rights group, has reported that the Israeli army used peaceful Palestinian villages to carry out training exercises. The group said that the villagers were harassed and scared as two battalions of reservists acted out a battle in their midst for three hours. The exercises were carried out without warning in the early morning in the villages of Beit Lid and Safarin last month.