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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April, 2004, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Israel faces human shield claim
Mohammed Badwan
Activists claim Mohammed was tied to the jeep by police.
Israeli human rights activists have accused border police of using a 13-year-old Palestinian as a human shield.

Rabbis for Human Rights say that Mohammed Badwan was tied by police to a jeep during a recent demonstration in the West Bank village of Bidou.

The police apparently hoped this would stop Palestinians from throwing stones during a protest against Israel's West Bank barrier.

Israel's Supreme Court banned the use of human shields in 2002.

Rabbis for Human Rights also say that the boy was beaten by Israeli police before being arrested.

Israeli police spokesman Gil Kleiman said: "It's unclear what happened, we do not expose civilians to physical damage willingly."

The case is to be investigated by the Israeli Justice Ministry.


Mohammed later told the Reuters news agency: "I was scared when they got me at first, I thought they would put me in prison. I was scared a stone would hit me."

Mohammed's father, Saeed, said: "When I saw him on the hood of the jeep, my whole mind went crazy - he was shivering from fear."

Rabbis for Human Rights director Rabbi Arik Ascherman was detained by police when he tried to intervene to help Mohammed.

"It is very sad to see that we have come to this position. There is disbelief," Rabbi Ascherman said.

'Excessive Force'

Palestinian activists in Bidou, a focal point of recent protests against the West Bank barrier, say that the Israeli authorities are increasingly using excessive force to disperse stone throwers.

Medics say four Palestinians have been shot dead this year during violent clashes at protests against the barrier.

Israeli officials say the barrier is necessary to prevent suicide bombings iniside Israel, while Palestinians say the barrier is in reality a land-grab intended to annex West Bank territory occupied by Israel since 1967.


The use of human shields was banned after an incident in which soldiers forced the neighbour of a suspected militant to knock on his door and deliver their demands. The militant shot and killed the man.

Marwan Dalal, of Israeli Arab rights organisation Adalah, said there was evidence that despite the Supreme Court ban, the use of human shields by Israeli security forces was continuing.

He it said it was more common for soldiers to use Palestinians as human shield during military operations rather than against stone throwers.

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