World

Border Guards Take Girl's Bike, Toss Into Bushes (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Anwar Burqan Israeli Border PoliceAnwar Burqan Israeli Border Police

Two Israeli border police officers were filmed seizing a girl's bike and tossing it into the bushes in Hebron, a Palestinian town on the southern West Bank, on July 25 (video below).

The officer who threw the bike was suspended, but the officer who originally took the bike from the 8-year-old Palestinian girl was not punished, according to Haaretz.

The officer who confiscated the bike was suspended on Aug. 2 after the video, filmed by the non-governmental organization B'Tselem, went viral on YouTube, The Jerusalem Post reports.

The incident occurred near the the Cave of the Patriarchs, which is considered to be a highly sensitive area and has a heavy security presence.

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In the video, the officer can be seen putting his foot on the bike as the girl tries to take it back. She eventually begins to cry, and runs off with another child who is clutching a large toy.

A Border Police spokesman said the incident was regrettable and that an investigation is being launched.

The girl's father, Mjoubn Burkan, recalled that his daughter was "afraid," and said the officer "took the bicycle because the settlers and the army are afraid of all Palestinians."

The girl told B'Tselem researcher Manal al-Ja'bri that she and her six siblings do not have a yard to play in because of the crowded city, and that they sometimes play in the street.

Israeli security forces built the fence seen in the video in the middle of the street in 2012, which left the main road on one side, and a narrow, unpaved path on the other, to keep Palestine people from using the main, paved road.

The Israeli military allowed Palestinians to use the main street in April 2015, but police border guards have been enforcing the ban since about October 2015. 

Palestinians are directed to use the path, but Palestinian traffic has been allowed on the main paved street and kids are often seen playing there, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Sources: Haaretz, B'Tselem, The Jerusalem Post / Photo Credit: B'Tselem/YouTube

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