A group of Israeli soldiers ambushed and detained a seven-year-old boy during the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum last Friday and used him as a human shield, video footage has shown.
The recording, released by Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem shows Muamen Murad Mahmoud Shteiwi being captured and held in front of soldiers as protection.
According to a statement published by B’Tselem yesterday, at around 12:15 on 23 December a number of demonstrators living in Kafr Qaddum and other Israeli activists set off towards a checkpoint blocking the street on the eastern side of the village.
According to eye witness accounts, demonstrators reached a home located on the eastern border of the village and did not notice the presence of the soldiers in the area. A number of children separated from the rest of the demonstrators and headed further east, including Muamen.
Speaking to B’Tselem volunteer Abdullah Qaddoumi, Muamen said that one of the other children threw a stone at a pile of dirt covered by a tin plate.
“As soon as the stone hit the tin, men with masks came out from under it. Because of their masks and black gloves, at first I thought they were protestors. The rest of the kids who were around me ran away.”
“I realised they were Israeli soldiers, but I was so surprised and scared, I couldn’t run. One of the masked soldiers knocked me over and grabbed me, and then more masked soldiers gathered around me. I was afraid. I cried and screamed because of how they looked. The soldiers detained me for about ten minutes. They shot at the protestors with me next to them,” he said.
Since the military blocked the road off following expansion of the illegal Kedumim settlement in 2003, village residents have had to take a bypass road, extending the 15-minute trip to Nablus to 40 minutes.