Full Body Search
"They wanted me to undress and search me. I refused. They pressed an electric taser against my body several times till I gave up and took off my clothes."16-year-old boy. 16-year-old boy.
 

Most of the arrests carried out by Israeli soldiers are done during raid campaigns carried out by the forces. During these raids, the detainee and his family are exposed to harassment from the first moment that the occupation forces raid the house.

During these raids, the forces conduct partial and sometimes full body search on the children, which is a violation of the children’s rights and privacy, and they are exposed to harassment and physical assaults.

This type of assault usually starts at the moment when the forces raid the children’s houses and conduct a strip inspection of family members in front of the children. Additionally the forces sometimes pressure on the detainee through threats that they will harm their mother or sisters.

In information reported by detained children, some of the detainees reported that they were subjected to harassment attempts and were often forced to undress during the arrest; the Israeli soldiers also forced the children to take off their clothes while conducting raids from one house to another.

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Exposure of children to such events only adds to the psychological toll of being arrested several times, and many of the children display symptoms related to sexual assault. Some of the most prominent indicators of mental and emotional symptoms resulting from such assaults are:

· Disruption of self-image and lack of self-confidence: The loss of self-esteem and faith in one’s self often result from such attacks.

· Feelings of guilt: As result of the child’s inability to stop the attack, the child often starts blaming himself and feels as if he was part of the attack.

· Feelings of weakness and helplessness: The child often loses the sense of being able to protect himself from attacks, as well as losing control of his body and fear of recurrence of such practices.

· Various sleeping problems (sleeping disorder): These include nightmares, interrupted sleeping, refusal to sleep alone, losing confidence in others, feelings of sadness, fear, frustration and other symptoms of depression.

The conditions experienced by the detainee child may cause him to move from a familiar stage to stage that he is not prepared for, destabilizing the balance of the child. It also creates psychological harm, and the loss of coping mechanisms, the inability to deal with problems, and feelings of fear and nervousness that affects the child’s reactions and his ability to think logically.

About this photograph

Salah Bakri – the actor from the photo:

In my country, I have seen children who walk, move and speak as if they are adults

However they are also unlike most adults: there is something confrontational

In their presence and in their tone

As if they are constantly being challenged.
I am amazed by these children’s innate intelligence,

I am astonished by their capacity for refusal and stubbornness.
He who conducts searches on them is afraid:

Looking for the secret of courage in their small pockets.

He who arrests them is afraid:

Encountering their freedom, a freedom which he and his spoiled children

in the Ma’aleh Adumim Settlement have lost.

_______

The occupation forces shut down a children’s theatre festival in the El Hakawati Theatre where we took this picture.