A leaked video purportedly showing Israel Defense Forces soldiers setting dogs on a Palestinian teenager emerged online this week.
The clip was reportedly shot last December in a West Bank settlement called Carmei Tzur but only went viral after far-right Israeli activist Michael Ben Ari posted it on Facebook, accompanied by the description: “The soldiers taught the little terrorist a lesson!”
The former Knesset member even asked his followers to share the post, saying “every little terrorist who plans to harm our soldiers learns the price.”
Fortunately, the distressing video prompted more backlash than praise, forcing Ben Ari to remove it from his page.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attack on the teenager, identified as Abu Hashem, while the Israeli army ordered an investigation into the incident.
The boy’s father told Haaretz that his son was arrested Dec. 23 for throwing stones.
“We, his mother and I, watched the video, and we couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” he said. “My wife almost fainted. I don’t know if there’s a mother or father in the world who can be indifferent to such pictures. It pained us very much, especially the fact that the boy was helpless and the soldiers rejoiced over him.”
Although the recent video has sparked a lot of outrage on social media, such incidents involving IDF are not uncommon.
Last January, a human rights organization based in Israel accused the IDF of torturing, publicly caging and sexually abusing Palestinian minors.
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel demanded that Israel lower its threshold of abusive treatment when it comes to children, adding that it is the only nation to automatically and systematically prosecute minors in military courts – that too without a guarantee of a fair trial.
In addition, the United Nations Children's Fund released a report last October, highlighting Israel’s violations against detained Palestinian children despite an alleged decision by the government to improve their conditions and official methods of interrogation.
“Israel now allegedly detains children, aged 12-13, for 24 hours instead of four days, while children 14-15 years of age are now detained for two days before being sent to court comparing to four days as per previous measures. Yet, Israel did not change detention measures for children aged 16-17,” UNICEF stated.