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[Opinion] #NOWAYTOTREATACHILD: A CYNICAL CAMPAIGN TO MANIPULATE PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

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In a video that has gone viral, a young Palestinian approaches two Israeli soldiers. She hits, prods and slaps them. She is trying to provoke a reaction that will be caught on camera and show the ugly violence of the Israeli army. The soldiers respond with professionalism and restraint, and ignore her attack.

Following the release of the video, Tamimi was arrested for her assault. Despite the ambiguity about her age, this triggered a widespread Twitter campaign calling for her release, under the hashtag #NoWayToTreat- AChild.

The leading group behind the campaign is a Palestinian NGO, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P). The organization, reportedly tied to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, has joined with American BDS groups such as American Friends Service Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace to lobby the US government to “use all available means to pressure relevant Israeli authorities to end the detention and abuse of Palestinian children.”

Media outlets have joined in the propaganda efforts. Earlier this month, Al Jazeera’s AJ+ posted a video on its Twitter, alleging that Israel “systematically harasses and abuses Palestinian kids.” The video parrots NWTTAC’s blatantly false or misleading claims. An employee of Human Rights Watch even claimed that Israel has no reason to arrest minors – regardless of the fact that some minors are perpetrators of violent terrorist attacks, including murder. Human Rights Watch Executive director Ken Roth disseminated the video in an offensive tweet.

NGO Monitor research shows that campaign participants also make numerous false and misleading allegations about the IDF and Israeli military courts. One brazen NWTTAC distortion is the claim that Palestinian minors are subject to solitary confinement. Rather, Israel’s separation of minors from adult detainees stems from international standards and Israeli law geared toward protecting children.