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Palestinian teen in Hebron arrest photo released on bail

Fawzi Al-Junaidi, 16, ordered to appear before an Israeli military court on 7 January after family paid $2,860 to secure his release
A photo of Al-Junaidi being arrested, taken by the Palestinian photographer Wisam Hashlamoun, went viral on social media on 7 December (Twitter/@marro_lb)

An Israeli military court released on bail a 16-year-old Palestinian on Wednesday after 20 days' detention in prison.

Ofra military court released Fawzi Al-Junaidi on bail on the condition that he will appear in the military court on 7 January. Junaidi's family were ordered to pay 10,000 Israeli shekels (almost $2,860).

Junaidi was arrested during protests that erupted in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on 7 December against US President Donald Trump's move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Junaidi was charged with "throwing stones" at Israeli soldiers.

The photo of Junaidi's arrest taken by photographer Wisam Hashlamoun went viral on social media. It showed Junaidi blindfolded, handcuffed, and surrounded by at least 20 fully armed Israeli soldiers.

The Palestinian teen told his lawyer, Farah Bayadsi from Defence for Children International, an NGO that advocates for children rights, that he was running away from Israeli tear gas in Wadi Al-Tuffah road in Hebron city to his aunt's house, when Israeli soldiers hiding between buildings arrested him.

"The soldiers attacked me and beat me on the head, back, shoulders and chest. They continued beating me for a few minutes with their boots and their rifles' butts," Junaidi told local news agencies. 

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"Then they blindfolded me and handcuffed me with a nylon cable tie and continued to step on me and beat me. My body and face were on the ground."

"I was scared and did not know what was going to happen to me. The soldiers walked me for about 30 minutes until we reached Al-Container checkpoint. My lip was bleeding, and they threw me into a room and kept beating me," recounted Junaidi. 

He added that during that time he had also lost his shoes.

"They gave me slippers to wear, the ones I wore when I appeared in the court on 11 December."

Bayadsi said that Junaidi's medical report showed that his shoulder was broken as a result of the beating.

Israeli abuse against Palestinian minors has been on the rise since Trump's 6 December announcement which sparked ongoing protests against the decision. 

According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, nearly 3,600 Palestinians were injured during these protests, 729 of whom were wounded with rubber bullets and at least 192 by live rounds.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Club said on Wednesday that since 6 December the Israeli army arrested 620 Palestinians - 170 of them were children and 12 are women.

The latest of these arrests of children was Ahed al-Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian teen from Al-Nabi Saleh, a small village to the northwest of Ramallah city in the West Bank.

Tamimi has been detained in the Israeli HaSharon prison for nine consecutive days after slapping an Israeli soldier in her front yard.

Her arrest attracted wide international and Arab support.

On Wednesday, several clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers happened in Bethlehem, Qalqilya, Nablus and Jerusalem. These clashes are part of the ongoing Palestinian protests against Trump’s 6 December decision on Jerusalem.

At the northern entrance of Bethlehem that leads to the city of Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers attacked the photojournalist Naser Al-Shyoukhi while he was covering a protest.

It is the second time Shyoukhi has been attacked by Israeli soldiers. On 11 December he was shot by a rubber-coated bullet in his shoulder while covering an anti-Trump protest at the entrance of the Israeli Beit El settlement to the north of Ramallah city.

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