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Doubts raised over circumstances of recent West Bank ‘terror attack’ and confessions of suspects
Sixteen teens were arrested in several raids in the West Bank village of Hares this past week in relation to a car accident on nearby Road 5, in which an Israeli child was critically injured. The incident has been widely reported in Israeli media as a ‘terror attack’ caused by Palestinians throwing stones, although no eyewitness accounts have been reported that would confirm this. Five Palestinian teens have reportedly confessed to stone-throwing, and Netanyahu himself has informed the child’s parents of the arrests, but interviews conducted by the International Women’s Peace Service with some of the sixteen who have since been released indicate that the detainees may have ‘confessed’ under severe duress.
At around 18:30 on Thursday March 14 an accident involving a car and a truck took place on Road 5 near the West Bank villages of Kifl Hares and Hares. The facts surrounding the incident are unclear, but it appears that a car driven by an Israeli settler crashed into the back of a truck, critically injuring the driver’s young daughter and wounding herself and two of her other children. IWPS interviewed local people who were at the scene in the moments after the crash and who reported that they did not see any youths in the vicinity.
Between March 15 -21, sixteen Palestinian youths between the ages of thirteen to seventeen were arrested in army raids in the nearby village of Hares apparently in connection with the incident. According to interviews with detainees who have since been released and their families who were present at the time of the arrests, the youths were handcuffed and blindfolded and taken for interrogation. No formal reasons were given for these arrests and the youths have been kept, in some cases, for up to 6 days without charge. The teens were denied any contact with families or lawyers during their detention, in contravention of Israeli and international law.
One sixteen year old, since released, reported being kept in solitary confinement for two days in a small cell in which bright lights were kept on continuously. He described being interrogated three times during his six-day detention, during which soldiers shouted at him, threatened to hit him and to harm his mother and sister. Another youth was hospitalized after being beaten in custody.
Five youths remain in detention as of March 27, 2013.
Written by: Sarah
Edited by: Maria
Date : 27th March 2013
Contact details: IWPS withholds this information as a courtesy to those involved. However, we will do our best to furnish you with the information you may require, on request. The International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Salfit, Palestine. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Operating out of Deir Istiya, International Women’s Peace Service monitors and responds to Human Rights Abuses in the area. Part of our mission is to contact the relevant authorities in the case of any arrests that take place in the Salfit area.