Israel’s Border Police opened an official investigation yesterday in response to video footage showing an officer kicking a Palestinian boy while he is being held by a colleague.
The footage, filmed on Friday and issued yesterday by the Israeli human rights agency B’Tselem, shows nine-year-old Abd a-Rahman Burqan being grabbed by one policeman who says: “Why are you causing trouble?” Another then comes up to the boy – by now prone and crying out – and kicks him. The first officer then lets the boy go and he runs away.
B’Tselem frequently gives video cameras to Palestinian citizens to film possible human rights abuses in the occupied territories. The incident took place in the Israeli-controlled sector of Hebron where Jewish settlers live alongside Palestinians.
The incident follows publication of a Foreign Office-funded report by British lawyers last week citing violations of international law in the detention of children in the West Bank.
The area, close to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Ibrahim mosque, has seen recent friction between police and Palestinian boys, and some police officers have complained of stone throwing. The boy’s father, Amer Burqan, said his son had gone to collect soup given out to the poor.
A Border Police statement said such conduct was “contrary to [its] values” and that an investigation had been ordered “immediately”.