Voices from the Occupation: Iman and Mohammad G. – Settler attack kids with Molotovs

 DCI Palestine | Sept 24, 2012

Names: Iman and Mohammad G.
Date of incident:
16 August 2012
4 and 5
Near Bethlehem, West Bank
Nature of incident:
Settler violence

On 16 August 2012, two children suffer burns after a Molotov cocktail is thrown at the car they are travelling in. Three Israeli settler children suspected of committing the attack are questioned by the police and released on bail.

Four-year-old Iman and five-year-old Mohammad live with their parents in the village of Nahhalin, about 12 kilometres southwest of Bethlehem. At around 4:30 p.m., on Thursday 16 August 2012, they took a taxi to go to the supermarket with their parents and their uncle. As they were passing by the Israeli settlement of Bat Ayin, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at their vehicle.

“My husband was sitting in the front seat next to the driver. Hasan and I were sitting in the back seat with the children. Hasan was carrying Mohammad, and Iman was sitting next to me,” recalls Jamila, the children’s mother. “As we were passing by the settlement of Bat Ayin, something terrible happened. A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the car and came through the window, landing in front of Ayman. That moment was terrifying. The Molotov exploded a few seconds later and started a fire.”

In the confusion, the driver lost control of the car and crashed on the left side of the road. When the car stopped, they managed to get out, but they were all injured. “We were all burnt before we managed to get out of the car,” says Jamila. “My husband and the driver were wearing their seat belts so it took them longer to get out. That is why their injuries were more severe, especially my husband’s.”

The family and the driver were taken to the Hadassah Ein-Karim Hospital for treatment. “I was hospitalised for 12 days, Mohammad for 25 days, and Iman for four days,” says Jamila. “My husband is still in the hospital. We all underwent surgery.”

Jamila remembers seeing the attacker just before he threw the fire-bomb. “I saw a young settler wearing a small cap [kippah]… I saw him throwing the Molotov cocktail from behind a roadside barrier on the right side of the road.” Jamila adds: “Mohammad is still receiving treatment at home. We are giving Iman a lot of support because she is still scared.”

On 26 August 2012, three Israeli settler children, aged between 12 and 13 years, were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack. One boy was conditionally released by a civilian judge on 29 August, and the other two were conditionally released the following day. This case highlights the discriminatory nature of the legal systems applied by the Israeli authorities in the West Bank. Whilst settler children are processed through Israel’s juvenile justice system and generally released on bail, Palestinian children accused of similar offences are prosecuted in military courts which deny children bail in at least 87 percent of cases, and have a conviction rate of 99.74 percent.

13 September 2012


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