He’s a fifth-grader, 10 years outdated, with a speech obstacle that continuously hampers him. He’s the eldest of the 4 siblings in his household. Their house is small and cramped, positioned deep inside the city of Beit Ummar, between Bethlehem and Hebron. It’s a city that evokes a sense of despair, simply upon getting into it: There’s a fortified guard tower, an iron barrier that’s typically manned and typically not, a slim highway, neglect, commotion and filth. Merging onto Freeway 60 is harmful, nearly not possible. However who wants a correct intersection with site visitors lights? This can be a Palestinian city, in spite of everything.
Carrying a black shirt, Qusay al-Jaar has a baby’s charming smile. His mom, Hitam, sits subsequent to us within the small lounge. The daddy, Ibrahim, works in development in Israel.
On Friday, October 18, Qusay, along with a cousin, 17-year-old Rami, helped Ibrahim clear rocks from the roof of their one-story home, in an effort to put in flooring. The work concerned filling pails with the rocks and taking them downstairs. Qusay would took the pails by bike to a spot behind the home, the place different development particles was dumped. They started work within the morning: Being Friday, there was no college.
Someday round 6 P.M., they observed two younger masked folks operating down the road exterior, a military jeep in sizzling pursuit. With their disguises, Qusay and his cousin couldn’t establish the 2, who fled into the alleyways, the automobile behind them.
A couple of minutes later, the jeep returned, with out having caught the masked folks, and stopped subsequent to Qusay, who was standing exterior together with his bike. 4 Israel Protection Forces troopers received out, grabbed Qusay by his shirt and dragged him forcefully into the automobile. His mom and father shouted and tried to strategy the jeep to free him. The troops fired into the air and hurled tear-gas canisters. Hitam was fearful for her son and for the security of two of her different kids, Ruya, her Three-year-old daughter, and the 18-month-old Umar, who have been additionally on the roof on the time.
Ibrahim al-Jaar gave the next testimony to Musa Abu Hashhash, a subject researcher for B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights group: “I used to be eradicating particles from the roof of my home forward of tiling. My nephew, Rami, who’s 17, and my son Qusay, 10, have been serving to me. They every received a pail from me, which they emptied close to the home. Qusay carried the pail on his bike after which got here again for an additional load. Whereas this was occurring, with me on the roof of the home, I noticed two masked kids operating on the road close by. I noticed a jeep driving quick and figured it was pursuing the 2 of them.
“I went on working. After about 5 minutes the jeep returned and stood throughout from the home. 4 or 5 troopers received out. I noticed Rami and Qusay standing subsequent to the home. Two of the troops snatched Qusay rapidly and pushed him into the jeep, and certainly one of them shut the door. Once I noticed that, I jumped down from the roof. Certainly one of two troopers fired two photographs within the air. I noticed Rami making an attempt to strategy the again a part of the jeep; he tried to drag Qusay out. The troopers kicked Rami laborious within the abdomen and shouted at him. I pulled Rami away and tried to calm him down.
“In a short time ladies from the neighborhood arrived, and in addition my spouse, Hitam, and she or he tried to intervene. My spouse began to cry and begged the troopers to launch the boy. The troopers threw stun grenades and tear gasoline, after which received into the jeep and drove away towards [the settlement of] Karmei Tzur. I had tried to clarify to them that the boy is my son and that he was working with me; the troopers spoke in Hebrew and ordered me to again off and shut up. I attempted greater than as soon as to get near the jeep, and my spouse additionally tried, in an effort to get Qusay again, after which one of many troopers fired a shot within the air.
“I calculated that the jeep was going to the navy base subsequent to Karmei Tzur. I went there with my two brothers, Mahmoud and Maher. The troopers allowed solely me inside. I noticed Qusay, his fingers certain in entrance and blindfolded, sitting on a chair, crying and scared.
“I stood close to Qusay. There was a soldier – not one of many ones who arrested him – who requested him about his associates and individuals who throw stones. I attempted to intervene, however the soldier ordered me to not. He requested Qusay about older associates, and Qusay informed him he doesn’t have any older associates. The soldier mentioned he was on the lookout for an older boy named Abdallah. I intervened greater than as soon as throughout Qusay’s interrogation. The interrogating soldier mentioned that he wouldn’t cease asking questions till Qusay gave him the names of the stone throwers.
“The soldier questioned me in regards to the two minors who ran previous the home earlier than Qusay’s arrest. I informed him that I didn’t know them and that each have been masked. I heard Qusay inform the soldier that he wished to return residence. The soldier informed him he would have the ability to return, however that he was ready for an order. Qusay was launched at 9:30 P.M. and I went residence with him. Qusay was frightened and confused, and I attempted to calm him down. A number of family and neighbors came visiting to welcome us. After he ate supper he went to sleep. Throughout the previous couple of nights he’s been waking up out of the blue and looking out throughout.”
The cousin’s testimony: “I’m Rami Alami and I dwell with my household in Beit Ummar – my mother and father are usually not alive. I’m within the 11th grade. On Friday morning, I went to my uncle’s home to assist take away overlaying from the roof of his home. At round 6 P.M., whereas we have been working, I noticed a military jeep driving quick alongside the highway near us. I assumed they have been chasing two younger folks (minors). The masked folks ran alongside the highway earlier than the jeep arrived. 5 minutes later, the jeep got here again and stood beneath the home. Qusay was near me, together with his bike. With out asking a query, 4 troopers received out. Two went over to Qusay and certainly one of them grabbed him by the shirt collar and pulled him towards the jeep. I heard and noticed Qusay crying and shouting, ‘I didn’t do something.’
“Simply then, I noticed Ibrahim soar from the roof to the bottom. He began to speak to the troopers and informed them that Qusay was a minor and that he had been working with him. He tried to drag his son away, however then a soldier fired a shot within the air. Qusay’s mom, my aunt, additionally got here out and tried to get near her son and pull him away, however one of many two troopers pushed her and saved her from approaching. Some ladies and neighbors gathered round and tried to get nearer. One of many troopers threw tear gasoline and stun grenades to disperse them. I additionally tried to get near the jeep and pull Qusay out. One of many troopers kicked me twice, as soon as within the abdomen and as soon as within the leg, and threatened to shoot if I attempted it once more.
“One soldier rapidly shut the again door of the jeep. Qusay was nonetheless crying inside. The opposite troopers received in and drove off within the path of Karmei Tzur. I noticed Ibrahim and his brothers getting right into a automobile and understood that they’d determined to meet up with Qusay. I knew they [the troops] have been sending him to the navy base close to Karmei Tzur.
“I waited at my aunt’s home till 9 o’clock, within the hope that Qusay would return, however determined to go residence. I used to be drained and went to sleep early. I came upon within the morning that Qusay had been launched at 9:30 and that he was again residence. I discovered soldier had accused him of throwing stones and had questioned him about whether or not he knew the names of the youngsters who threw stones.”
Qusay’s testimony: “On Friday I used to be serving to my dad… Round 6 o’clock that night, once I was carrying a pail on my bike, a military jeep handed the home going quick. Earlier than that, I noticed two masked kids operating alongside the highway. Certainly one of them was carrying a inexperienced shirt that was the identical shade as my shirt. After a couple of minutes the jeep got here again and pulled up subsequent to our home. I had sufficient time to get on my bike and stand subsequent to Rami. 4 soldier received out of the jeep quick. Two got here towards me and certainly one of them pulled me by my shirt into the jeep. I noticed Dad soar off the roof and he began to speak to the troopers. I heard the sound of a bullet fired within the air.
“The door of the jeep was open. Mother got here out of the home and tried to strategy me. She requested the troopers to let me go and [told them] that I used to be a minor and hadn’t achieved something. I noticed a soldier push her and never let her stand there. My cousin, Rami, tried to get nearer, after which the soldier kicked him and pushed him away from the jeep. I noticed and heard men and women across the jeep who have been making an attempt to assist me and have been speaking to the military folks. Abruptly I heard the sound of stun grenades and smelled [tear] gasoline. The troopers received in quick and the jeep headed towards the settlement. I used to be scared and I cried the entire time. I mentioned I didn’t do something. One soldier lined my eyes within the jeep and put steel handcuffs on me. After a couple of minutes they took me out and put me on a chair subsequent to a military tower.
“A soldier came visiting to me and pulled the blindfold up and began to ask me if I threw stones, and I mentioned I didn’t. I informed him I used to be serving to Dad take issues off the roof. The soldier requested me to repeat what I mentioned, as a result of I’ve a speech downside. After half an hour Dad received there and stood by my aspect. The soldier was nonetheless asking me and saved on asking me. He requested me about my associates and their names and ages. I informed him that my associates are in my class. He mentioned he wished older associates. He additionally requested me to provide him names of people that throw stones and I answered him that I don’t know a single one.
“After my father received there, the soldier took off my fingers, after I informed him they have been too tight. I noticed the soldier asking my father questions in regards to the individuals who throw stones within the neighborhood. I saved on sitting within the chair the entire time.
“After 9 o’clock, I heard the soldier inform Dad that I used to be getting launched and despatched residence and that he was ready for an order on the telephone. After a couple of minutes they let me go. I went residence with Dad and with my uncles, who have been ready exterior. A bit bit after I received there I went to sleep, I used to be very drained. Through the arrest I used to be very scared and I cried on a regular basis. I solely stopped crying when Dad got here to the place the place I used to be beneath arrest.”
The IDF Spokesman’s Workplace informed Haaretz in response that the incident is now beneath investigation.
In keeping with B’Tselem, on the finish of August, a complete of 185 Palestinian minors (beneath age 18) have been incarcerated in Israeli prisons, two of them beneath the age of 14. Prior to now few years, the variety of kids and teenagers imprisoned by Israel has ranged between 180 and 400 at any given time.