Yousef Mesheh, 15, holds a portrait of his brother, Wael
The thing about the Jews is that they will come at you in the night to bring terror upon you.
Yousef Mesheh was sleeping in his bunk bed when Israeli forces stormed into his home at 3 a.m.
Within moments, the 15-year-old Palestinian said he was lying on the floor as troops punched him, shouting insults. A soldier struck his mother’s chest with his rifle butt and locked her in the bedroom, where she screamed for her sons.
Yousef and his 16-year-old brother, Wael, were hauled out of their home in Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank. Yousef was in a sleeveless undershirt and couldn’t see without his glasses.
“I can’t forget that night,” Yousef told The Associated Press from his living room, decorated with photos of Wael, who remains in detention. “When I go to sleep I still hear the shooting and screaming.”
The Israeli military arrested and interrogated hundreds of Palestinian teenagers in 2022 in the occupied West Bank, without ever issuing a summons or notifying their families, according to an upcoming report by the Israeli human rights organization HaMoked.
The charges against those being arrested ranged from being in Israel without a permit to throwing stones or Molotov cocktails. Some teens say they were arrested to obtain information about neighbors or family members.
In the vast majority of the military’s pre-planned arrests of minors last year, children were taken from their homes in the dead of the night, HaMoked said. After being yanked out of bed, children as young as 14 were interrogated while sleep-deprived and disoriented. Water, food and access to toilets were often withheld. Yousef said soldiers beat him when he asked to relieve himself during his seven-hour journey to the detention center.
The Israeli army argues it has the legal authority to arrest minors at its discretion during late-night raids.
Lawyers and advocates say the tactic runs counter to Israel’s legal promises to alert parents about their children’s alleged offenses.
In response to a petition to the Supreme Court by HaMoked two years go, there had been some small improvement when Israel asked the military to first summon Palestinian parents about their accused children. But the progress was short-lived. Last year, the Israeli military rounded up hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank ages 12-17 in late-night arrests, according to HaMoked. Rights activists say they believe such tactics are meant to create fear.
“The fact that the military is making no effort to reduce these traumatic night arrests indicates to us that the trauma is part of the point,” said Jessica Montell, director of HaMoked. “This intimidation and terrorizing of communities seems actually part of the policy.”
I see white people say they don’t care about the Palestinians. Well, okay then, but you have to understand: we are all Palestinians to these Jews.
They think we are all animals who exist only to serve them, and they would be doing everything they do to Palestinians to all of us if they had the opportunity.
We need to manage this Jew problem and we need to do it quickly.
A Palestinian father was shot in the chest by Israeli forces in Qalandiya refugee camp, while trying to prevent his son’s arrest. pic.twitter.com/NjtAlI3ot7
— Palestine Highlights (@PalHighlight) January 13, 2023
Samir Aslan protested his son Ramzi’s arrest by Israeli occupation forces, so they shot him in the chest.
When his brother tried to take Samir to the hospital, the Israeli occupation forces stopped the car at gunpoint and dragged Samir out.
He bled to death at gunpoint. pic.twitter.com/348S8QjbvW
— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) January 12, 2023