October 21, 2019

Israeli Police Say They Didn’t Question Palestinian Boy

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Israeli police said on July 30 that they did not summon a four-year-old Palestinian boy for questioning earlier in the day, contrary to Palestinian media reports.

According to the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post, Palestinian man Rabee’an Ali’an told Palestinian media that the Israeli police summoned his son, Muhammad Ali’an, for allegedly throwing stones at an Israeli police vehicle and that if it happened, they would take Muhammad from him. A video of Muhammad in walking with his father to the police circulated on Twitter.

However, Israeli police issued a statement saying that they had just summoned Rabee’an, not Muhammad, since Israeli law prevents those below the age of 12 from being held criminally liable for their actions. 

“Contrary to the claim, because the minor was under the age of criminal culpability the police who arrived at the scene served a summons to the father only to come for a discussion at the police station in order to warn him about and clarify with him the actions of his son,” the police said. “To our sorrow, this is a part of a serious and dangerous phenomenon in the area whereby small children are used for throwing rocks at security forces, some of [these cases] occur alongside and under the supervision of adults and family members standing near them, and such was the case in this incident.”

The Times of Israel reports that a copy of the summons proves the Israeli police are correct, yet Rabee’an brought his son with him to the police anyway.

Various Twitter users argued that Rabee’an’s actions are part of a phenomenon known as “#Pallywood,” a term used to describe Palestinians putting on act to influence media coverage.