Israel army launches probe into explosives planted by soldiers

Israeli army launches investigation into soldiers who planted explosives in Palestinian village
2 min read
02 September, 2020
One of the explosives planted by Israeli soldiers in a West Bank village exploded and injured a local resident.
The explosives were discovered by a seven-year-old boy [Getty]
The Israeli military has launched an investigation after a brigade of soldiers planted improvised bombs in a West Bank village, which were later found by a seven-year-old boy.

Troops from the Israeli army's Nahal Brigade hid the improvised explosive devices along a road in the Palestinian village of Kafr Qaddum, close to a residential area, Haaretz reported last week.

The bombs - hidden with stones, cloth and crates and armed to explode when touched - were discovered by a seven-year-old boy who "wanted to pick it up and play with it".

Placing an armed explosive in a civilian area is illegal under international law.

One of the boy's relatives who was called to investigate the discovery was lightly injured by shrapnel after one of the bombs exploded.

The Israeli army this week announced it had opened a probe into the soldiers behind the hidden explosives.

Human rights lawyer Michael Sfard had petitioned the Israeli military's Advocate General on behalf of the boy's family to open an investigation.

The army should investigate "this grave incident seriously, the way Israeli law enforcement authorities would investigate an incident in which Palestinians had placed explosives next to an Israeli community, which would reach the highest levels of involvement", he said.
The military had initially claimed that stun grenades, without any additional explosives, were left in the area as a "deterrent" due to "violent riots [which] have regularly occurred for years".

Kafr Qaddum is currently the only Palestinian village to hold weekly demonstrations against Israel's occupation of the West Bank, ongoing since 1967.

The weekly protests began in 2011 when Israeli forces closed the village's main access road to accomodate the expansion of a nearby Israeli settlement.

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