Days of Palestine

Monday, February 6

Palestinian child abducted by 21 Israeli soldiers returns home

Days of Palestine -

The 16-year-old Palestinian teen, Fawzi al-Juneidi, who was recently arrested by Israeli soldiers, returned to his family late Wednesday.

The boy was abducted on December 7 in the West Bank city of Al-Khalil after being dragged on the ground and blindfolded by heavily-armed Israeli soldiers.

A photo of the blindfolded youth quickly became a symbol of ongoing Palestinian protests sparked by US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The young Palestinian said that he was badly treated and was exposed to violence by Israeli soldiers while he was inside Israeli jails.

"I was very afraid as they hit me on the head," he said, describing his painful and bloodstained body.

Blindfolded by the soldiers, the boy was taken to a prison "where I do not know," he said.

As he was questioned, Al-Juneidi was battered and also tortured with cold water.

His lawyer Ma’moun al-Hashim, quoting the teen, saying he was assaulted by a dozen soldiers, who kept hitting and insulting him while laying on the ground.

“I was tied up by plastic bandages and dragged away blindfolded,” the child said according to a statement issued by the Palestinian Prisoners Club.

He said he was kept inside a dark room, where he was beaten. “I felt I was going to fall unconscious as a result of torture,” the child was quoted as saying.

The Palestinian lawyer also said Al-Juneidi was interrogated while handcuffed.

Reaching his family after days of abduction, the boy expressed his gratitude to all who supported him and Palestine.

An Israeli military court on Wednesday decided to release Al-Juneidi on bail, a legal source said, noting that he was ordered to pay NIS10,000 ($2,860).

He is to appear before the Israeli military court again on January 14.