According to local sources, Israeli forces invaded the neighborhood of Silwan, in east Jerusalem, on Sunday morning and abducted two young children and a teenager, taking them to an unknown location.The Israeli forces alleged that the three boys threw stones at the police, although no eyewitnesses were able to confirm this claim.
A member of the Silwan Committee Against Settlements, Abed Al-Karim, identified the three boys as Musellem Mousa Auda, 11, Mohamad Auda, 13, and Kathem Abu Shafee, 17.
A group of Israeli undercover forces invaded the neighborhood on Sunday morning, and began firing tear gas and stun grenades at residents who gathered in the street.
The neighborhood of Silwan has been targeted by the Israeli government for the last two years as part of a plan to build a ‘tourist park’ and Jewish-only housing on the traditionally Palestinian neighborhood. Dozens of local families have received demolition orders from the Israeli government, which then destroys their ancestral homes. Some families rendered homeless by the Israeli government have set up tents in the street to continue living in their neighborhood, and to protest what they say is the illegal demolition of their homes.
Although abductions of children are illegal under international law, Israeli forces frequently take young children into custody without informing their parents – often, the parents are unable to locate their children for several days, creating an atmosphere of panic and fear among families.
On Saturday, troops kidnapped Ahmad Al Harbawi, 18, while he was walking back to his family’s home in Silwan.
The residents of Silwan have been holding a protest at a protest tent that was installed in Silwan more than 18 months ago to express their rejection to the ongoing illegal Israeli policies of home demolition and Israeli settlers’ takeover of their homes.
Several residents were killed and injured in Silwan due to constant Israeli invasions and attacks against them. The residents said they will remain steadfast in their homes and land despite the ongoing aggression.
The European Parliament recently launched an inquiry into the treatment of children in Israeli detention. Israel has no juvenile detention facilities for Palestinian detainees, and the children are thus lodged in adult facilities.
According to Defence of Children International, 27% of child prisoners are forced to sign confessions in Hebrew, a language they do not know, 55% of Palestinian child detainees complain of inadequate food, water or shelter, and no Palestinian child prisoners are allowed to speak with their families by phone.