Israeli police paraded a cuffed Palestinian teenager to protesters in what a human rights group charged Saturday was abuse of a “human shield” but an Israeli spokesman said was a move to calm violence.
Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI) posted a 76-second video clip on YouTube showing helmeted border policemen removing a young Palestinian it identified as “Muhammad R,17,” from their armoured jeep and forcing him to stand beside them, cuffed hands raised above his head.
“We’re outraged that Israeli soldiers continue to use Palestinian children as human shields with impunity,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish of DCI-Palestine said in a statement.
“The teen in this case was deliberately exposed to danger after he had been taken into custody. Israeli authorities must conduct a prompt, transparent and impartial investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable.”
The incident reportedly took place on Friday in Abu Dis, a Palestinian neighbourhood on the outskirts of Israeli-annexed Arab east Jerusalem.
Israeli border police spokesman Shai Hachimi said the officer in charge put the prisoner on view to prove that he was unharmed.
He said it was an attempt to calm tempers after 400 Palestinian protesters, some of them throwing rocks and petrol bombs, attacked a border police base for almost four hours.
“One of the main stone-throwers was arrested,” Hachimi told AFP. “At that point the Palestinians spread a rumour that he had been injured as a result of his arrest.
“All the officer wanted to do was to show them that everything was OK. He was on view for about 20 seconds then they returned him to the jeep. Ten minutes later the demonstration was over.
“There was no human shield or any such thing.”