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Israeli police summon another Palestinian father over young son's behaviour

A second Issawiya resident in two days is called in, as police allege his six-year-old son threw stones at them
A photo circulating on social media reportedly shows six-year-old Qais Obaid showing the warrant issued by Israeli police summoning his father for questioning (Social media)

Israeli police reportedly issued a summons to a Palestinian resident of the occupied East Jerusalem village of Issawiya on Tuesday over the alleged actions of his six-year-old son - marking the second similar incident in two days.

According to official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa, Firas Obaid received a warrant on Tuesday asking him to come to an Israeli police station for questioning on Wednesday, after his son Qais, 6, was accused of trying to throw stones at Israeli officers patrolling in Issawiya.

Speaking to Wafa, Firas Obaid denied the police claims, saying that Qais had in fact thrown a cardboard container of juice on the ground, which was mistaken by Israeli forces for a stone. The father said the police officers chased his son home and then entered his family's house and issued the warrant.

The summons comes in the wake of a similar incident mere hours earlier, when another Issawiya resident, Rabiaa Elayyan, was interrogated by Israeli police after his four-year-old son Mohammad allegedly threw a stone at police officers, causing no injuries.

Elayyan’s summons sparked anger in Issawiya, where tensions with Israeli forces have been particularly high since June, when police killed 20-year-old Mohammad Samir Obaid.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) issued a statement on Tuesday saying Elayyan’s interrogation was meant to “terrorise the Palestinian people and convey the message that no one, not even the United Nations, the UN Security Council and all other UN organisations, can protect Palestinians from the brutality of the Israeli occupation”.

Speaking to Middle East Eye on Tuesday, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said summoning parents for alleged infractions committed by minors was "standard procedure", adding: "It’s an educational process and at the same time community policing to deal with that incident."

Jawad Siyam, the director of the Wadi Hilweh Information Centre in East Jerusalem, told MEE on Tuesday that the summons were part of a broader policy to apply pressure to Issawiya, where Palestinian residents have been protesting against regular raids and arrests by the Israeli army and police, as well as frequent home demolitions.

“It’s a way to put pressure on the family, on the people," he said. "It’s collective punishment against Issawiya. They want people there to give up to police.”

East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel in 1967, in a move deemed by the vast majority of the international community to violate international law. Since then, Jerusalemites have denounced the variety of moves - whether by armed forces, bureaucratic quagmires, or continuous settlement expansion - used by Israel to pressure Palestinians to leave the city.