Beaten Palestinian Boy in Viral Photo to Face Charges

Blindfolded Fawzi al-Junaidi surrounded  by more than 20 Israeli forcesBlindfolded Fawzi al-Junaidi surrounded  by more than 20 Israeli forces

A 16-year-old Palestinian boy, shown in a photo that has been roundly condemned as symbolizing the Israeli army’s use of excessive force, has been accused of throwing stones at a group of armed Israeli soldiers.

An image of Fawzi al-Junaidi, blindfolded and surrounded by more than 20 Israeli occupation forces, was widely denounced as it was shared on social media earlier this week, Al Jazeera reported.

The scene pictures al-Junaidi looking disoriented, wearing a grey shirt and ripped jeans as dozens of soldiers crowded around him carrying guns and wearing protective gear, including helmets and knee pads.

The teenager, who denies throwing stones, was arrested on Thursday amid ongoing protests across the West Bank, East Beit-ul-Moqaddas and the Gaza Strip over a US decision on December 6 to recognize the holy city as the capital of Israel.

In six days, at least 16 other Palestinians have been arrested for protesting. At least four have been killed in the violence since the US declaration, and more than 700 injured.

Al-Junaidi also denies accusations of “participating in protests”.

“He said he was fearful and was running away when tear gas canisters were being thrown,” his lawyer, Farah Bayadsi, told Al Jazeera. “Fawzi said he was beaten with a rifle and he showed up with bruises all over his neck, chest and back.”

She said that the child would face formal charges in front of an Israeli military court on Wednesday, following an initial hearing on Monday.

Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) said about 320 children are currently held in Israeli prisons and detention centers.


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