Days of Palestine

Saturday, January 28

Blindfolded Palestinian boy surrounded by Israeli soldiers may spend 20 years in prison

Days of Palestine -

The Palestinian boy at centre of powerful photograph in which he has been blindfolded and surrounded by 22 Israeli soldiers marching him to prison is to face charges over throwing stones.

Sixteen-year-old Fawzi al-Junaidi was photographed on 7 December during protests in the occupied West Bank city of Al-Khalil over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the Palestinian city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Wearing ripped jeans, the boy is shown being propelled forward by soldiers in full protective gear who have hold of both of his arms.

The picture has been widely shared on social media and caused outrage within Palestinian and liberal Israeli circles, who have condemned it as representative of what they say is the Israel occupation forces’ criminalisation of Palestinian and Arab children. 

According to the boy’s lawyer, Farah Bayadsi, he was running away from tear gas when he was beaten with a rifle, blindfolded, taken to a detention centre and later the notorious Ofer Prison in Israel. 

However, he was savagely harassed, the boy is still in the Israeli prison and will face formal charges in an Israeli military court that might sentence him to 20 years in prison.

Israeli Knesset has previously approved a law that stipulates a Palestinian boy charged with throwing stones at Israeli soldiers would spend up to 20 years in prison.

Footage of Palestinian children being shouted at, dragged around and detained by Israeli soldiers has also emerged from an occupied area of the West Bank city of Al-Khalil last week. 

In the video, released by Israeli human rights watchdog B’Tselem, a small boy can be seen cowering next to a locked doorway as three soldiers surround him.

“Let’s go. Who is this? Take him,” one of them says, dragging the child to his feet by his arm. The boy then limps along between the soldiers – one of whom puts him in a headlock – and is dragged away as he cries “my arm!” A soldier tells him to shut up. 

The person filming the footage is prevented from following the boy further by another soldier. 

At least three more boys are marched away as a group of a dozen soldiers tell journalists and the B’Tselem representative to stand back, at one point shoving the camera person.