HEBRON (Ma’an) — A Palestinian teenager was detained at gunpoint by Israeli forces in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday, with local activists claiming that the detention could have taken a deadly turn if the encounter had not been filmed.
Muhammad Munif Yousif Qazzaz, a 15-year-old resident of the Hebron-area village Dura, was detained while passing through the Israeli checkpoint to enter al-Shuhada Street in Hebron’s Old City early on Sunday evening.
Zeidan al-Sharabati, an activist with the group Human Rights Defenders, was on the scene at the time and started filming the events.
The footage shows one of the Israeli soldiers approaching Qazzaz with a knife in his hand, which Badi al-Dweik, another Human Rights Defenders activist, alleged was proof that Israeli forces were planning on planting a knife on the scene and claiming it belonged to the Palestinian youth.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports.
Al-Dweik claimed that Israeli soldiers would likely have killed Qazzaz if they had not noticed that al-Sharabati was filming the events.
A wave of unrest that first began in October 2015 has left some 250 Palestinians and 35 Israelis killed.
Amid the unrest, rights groups have disputed Israel’s version of events in a number of cases, denouncing what they have termed as a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death, or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner — amid a backdrop of impunity for Israeli forces who have committed the killings.
Eyewitnesses have also said in a number of cases that Israeli security forces planted knives on slain Palestinians to claim that they were acting in self-defense during a stabbing attack.
Al-Dweik said that after the killing of Palestinian Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif
was caught on camera by Human Rights Defenders member Imad Abu Shamsiya in March 2016, the group had increased its efforts to capture Israeli violations of human rights on camera.