8yo Palestinian girl bullied by IDF soldier tells RT Israelis ‘don't want us to play on our land’
“They hurt my foot and hit the bicycle! I was there with the bicycle. I don’t want to go there again because they will take my bicycle,” Anwaar Burkan from Hebron told RT, standing by the controversial fence that divides the city into areas under separate control of Palestinians and Israelis.
“This is our land and they don’t want us to play here. The metal wall is here because they don’t want to let us play,” the child said.
Anwaar's mother, Rania Burkan, told RT that her daughter had been traumatized by the incident to the point she had to be taken to a doctor.
“At night, she was trembling, screaming and acting unconsciously... She suffered from fever and fear, so I took her to the doctor... After I told him what happened, we concluded she is frightened from the incident,” the girl's mother said.
Saying that while Anwaar faced such an offense for the first time, the Palestinian mother claimed her other children had been attacked from the Israeli side before, blaming the settlers.
“They hit one of her brothers furiously and his hands were bleeding. They hit his nose with a big stone and I went to hit the settler back, but I couldn't. One of the soldiers said ‘Why do you want to hit him?’ and I told him to look at the bleeding nose of my son,” Burkan said. She added that she had also seen other settlers “throwing stones at Palestinian boys who did nothing to them.”
“The soldiers can stop them, but they are not interested,” she said.
“They do that to force us from our lands and take the rest of them. They don't like Arabs and can't stand to see our children live and play naturally.”
The man who caught the girl's encounter with Israeli soldiers on video, Raed Aburmeilah, who also lives in the Palestinian neighborhood, shares Burkan’s views.
“There is pressure on the residents to move them out of their homes,” he says, “by attacking their children, women and elderly people” who live close to the Ibrahimi Mosque, which is a holy site for both Jews and Muslims.
While the Israeli border police said they were investigating the incident involving their officers, with one of them having already been suspended from duty, a human rights activist told RT the action has been taken only because the case became publicized.
“Israeli police opens investigation usually when there is any footage of an incident that can prove that something is happening, to show that it's taking responsibility. In most cases those investigations are very formal,” General Director of the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center Issam Aruri told RT, claiming that “only 2 percent of those incidents are investigated.”
“This is not an individual isolated incident. It is part of a systematic Israeli oppression and harassment against the Palestinians, committed by Israeli policemen, soldiers and Jewish settlers in the city,” he said.