Stone Cold Justice
This is a join report by Australian Broadcasting and The Australian newspaper. Reporter John Lyons travels to the West Bank to hear the story of children who claim they have been taken into custody, ruthlessly questioned, and then allegedly forced to sign confessions before being taken to court for sentencing.
Lyons meets Australian lawyer Gerard Horton, who's trying to help the boys who are arrested, and also talks to senior Israeli officials to examine what's driving the army's strategy.
The program focuses on the stories of three boys: Islam Dar Ayyoub, Fathi Mahfouz, and Husam Zumara, all teenagers. In two cases the army came for the children in the middle of the night, before taking them to unknown locations where they are questioned.
A five-year-old arrested during the night is also described.
"I've never broken into houses in Jerusalem and torn apart apartments, but in Hebron where I served 14 months 24/7 that's what we did to make our presence felt", says ex-soldier and co-founder of 'Breaking the Silence' group Yehuda Shaul, explaining the huge difference in treatment that the Palestinians in the West Bank receive compared to Israelis, and the tactics used to create a culture of fear.
It's a claim that's dismissed out of hand by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "A policy to create fear? There is no such thing. The only policy is to maintain law and order, that's all. If there's no violence, there's no law enforcement." But there is clear evidence of two legal systems operating, one for Israeli children and one for young Palestinians. Israeli settlers in the West Bank regularly attack Palestinian school children, knowing the authorities will not intervene.
It's an impossible situation that may provide temporary security for Israel, but in the long term may well breed a new generation of Palestinians prepared to do anything to gain retribution.
- Monday, November 24, 6:45 p.m.
- The Little Theatre, 240 East Avenue, Rochester NY
- Film run time: 45 minutes
- Style: documentary
- Languages: English and Arabic with English subtitles
- Format: video projection from DVD
- Year released: 2014
- Tickets WPFS pass or $8 student, $10 others from The Little box office
This film is screening in the same program as From al-Araqib to Susiya. Total running time for both films: 1 hour.