SOURCE: HUFFINGTON POST
Since March 15, 2013, five Palestinian boys from Hares have been held in detention for alleged attempted murder by way of stone throwing. The Hares Boys are a symbol of oppressed youth under occupation rule. The events surrounding the arrests and subsequent trials held in Israel instead of the West Bank are causing new waves of concern about the injustices the occupied peoples face.
Reports on the details of the alleged crime vary, but a few factors remain constant from different news accounts of events:
• On March 14, 2013, Adva Biton and her young daughter Adele, Israeli settlers from Yakir, had an accident on road 5 near the Palestinian village of Hares. The vehicle crashed into a stationary truck. Adele suffered serious injuries.
• Days after the accident, rumors started that the crash was caused by Palestinian youths that were throwing stones. The cause of the accident was labeled as a terror attack.
• The Israeli army and secret service conducted a series of night raids on Hares and Kifl Hares, arresting 19 boys ranging from 16 to 17 years old. After being tortured, five boys confessed to the crimes in military custody. Ammar Souf, Mohammed Suleman, Ali Shamlawi, Tamer Souf and Mohammed Kleib were each charged with 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of stone throwing.
• “The Hares Boys,” as they are known, are incarcerated at the notorious adult Meggido prison in Israel without due process. The boys are being charged as adults.
Activists continue to be concerned about the case of the Hares boys for a few reasons, not limited to:
• The arrest and detention of the Hares boys were inhumane. Palestinian youth were harangued, abused and railroaded on the presumption of guilt from the start.
• Israel breached article 76 of the 4th Geneva Convention by allowing the torture of the youth and their detention in an adult prison on Israeli soil.
• The use of terms by the Israeli military are misleading to some within the international community that interprets them in fair, democratic ways.
• The lack of due process in the case is especially egregious given the nature of the charges and the ages of the accused.
• There seems to be a major lack of evidence that there was a crime that took place and even less evidence that the Hares boys committed them. Al Jazeera reported that 20 drivers had submitted claims to their insurance that rocks had caused their accidents, however, there were no eyewitness reports of the boys throwing stones at the location and time of the accident.