Thirteen-year-old boy arrested, questioned without parents present

            photo ISM Hebron

Marwan Khalil al Jabari arrested by soldiers– photo ISM Hebron

Around noon today 30 January 2014, members of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron received a call from members of the International Solidarity Movement that soldiers had arrested a boy on New Shalala Street.  Members of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) were just leaving the CPT apartment at the time and followed up, but by the time they arrived, soldiers had already taken the boy behind the gate at Beit Romano Settlement.

CPTers arrived and began interviewing children and other bystanders who had witnessed the incident and then reported that the boy’s name was Marwan Khalil al Jabari to the Palestinian District Coordination Office (DCO) and the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).  Witnesses said they had seen no stone throwing or other precipitating event that might have caused soldiers to take the boy.

After more phone calls, the team learned that Marwan was thirteen years old, and the son of Manal al Jabari, an employee of the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem.  He had been delivering an item to his father, a vegetable vendor on New Shalala Street, when soldiers took him, accusing him of throwing stones at them.  After taking him behind the gate of Beit Romano, they transported him to the police station at Kiryat Arba.  His mother waited for forty minutes outside the station before they let her enter, even though Israeli law mandates that parents be present during interrogation of minors and al Jabari knew she had the right to be present when they were questioning the boy because of his age.

The family had to pay 500 NIS (about U.S. $143/ €106) to secure the boy’s release.