Nablus- With a single bullet in the heart, Israeli occupation soldiers killed the child Ruqaya Abu Dohuk (4 years old) at the Beit Iksa checkpoint north of Jerusalem The occupation forces then detained her body, and later performed an autopsy to determine the causes of death, which were not yet known and which the occupation did not reveal, despite the fact that they handed over the body 10 days after its detention.
Warqiya is one of 25 children that Israel has been holding in its refrigerators and graveyards for many years, a third of them since the outbreak of a battle. Al-Aqsa flood Only, and refuses to hand them over to their families, as part of a policy of abuse against the Palestinians that Israel has pursued since its occupation of the West Bank in 1967.
Ahmed Abu Dahuk, the father of the child Ruqaya, says that on January 7, his daughter was with her mother and three of her sisters on their way to their home in the town of Beit Iksa, north of Jerusalem, in a taxi, and as soon as they reached the Israeli checkpoint at the entrance to the town, they were searched. According to applicable military procedure.
They had barely walked a few metres, and the occupation bullets penetrated their vehicle and killed Ruqayya. The soldiers fired about 32 bullets towards another vehicle that was driving behind them. The soldiers claimed that it wanted to carry out a ramming attack against them.
Abu Dahuk adds to Al Jazeera Net, “After Ruqaya was injured, the soldiers detained her body and dissected it without our consent, even though they requested the presence of a family doctor. However, they did not acknowledge or explain the cause of death.”
After 10 days of waiting mixed with great sadness, the Abu Dohuk family received their baby Ruqaya, and she rested in peace, saying that nothing would deter her killers, “They are occupiers, enemies, and killers without accountability or control.”
Abu Dohuk added, “My child was killed, she was dissected, her body was seized, and she was released. I do not know the reason for all of this, and I could not believe that I received her and buried her. Under these circumstances, I thought that the detention would be prolonged due to the events and martyrs that the occupation detains on a daily basis.”
Israel is holding 463 bodies (not including the bodies of martyrs around Gaza after the war), including 18 prisoners and 6 women.
Preventing medical staff
If the Abu Dohuk family was lucky enough to receive the body of their daughter, the situation is not the same for the family of the child Khaled Hamidat (16 years old), who was killed by occupation bullets near the Beit El settlement, north of Ramallah.West Bank In mid-January, his body was detained.
Khaled's family was left in a difficult situation, as they received news from eyewitnesses that the soldiers arrested Khaled while he was “alive and moving his body,” although the Palestinian Civil Association confirmed to them the news of his martyrdom, according to what was reported by the occupation army.
Amer Hamidat, the father of the martyr child Khaled, who is from the Jalazoun camp near… Ramallah The occupation army killed his son even though it could have injured and arrested him, and prevented citizens and medical teams from approaching him and treating him, and fired bullets at them.
The grieving father added, “The occupation increased the punishment after the killing, so it seized the body to burn our hearts and deter others with it, and this will not happen.”
The two children, Abu Dohuk and Hamidat, are two of 8 children whose bodies have been withheld by Israel since the start of the war on Gaza only. They are among 24 children whose bodies have been withheld since 2015. All of them are detained in refrigerators, and one of them is in the Al-Aqmar cemetery, while Israel is withholding the body of the child Riyad Amin Jaber from the city of Hebron Since 1968, according to Hussein Shujaia, coordinator of the national campaign to recover the detained bodies of martyrs.
Shujaiya told Al Jazeera Net – explaining the increase in the number of detained bodies – that the occupation has deliberately detained most of them since the war on Gaza, regardless of their relationship to the event or not, in order to investigate the circumstances of the martyrdom, and later releases some of them, and keeps others detained.
Shujaiya adds that the occupation pursues the detention of bodies as a “complex policy,” regardless of the age and gender of the martyr, whether he was an old man, a woman, or a young child, and that in doing so it controls the lives of Palestinians alive and after death, and wants the families of the martyrs to remain in a state of permanent sadness because they did not bury their children.
Reasons for detaining bodies
Through the policy of detention, in addition to abusing the martyrs and their families, according to Shujaia, the occupation aims to punish Palestinians in general and attempt to create a state of deterrence, in addition to its attempts to hide evidence in some cases with the bodies of martyrs in which there are doubts about the circumstances of their execution.
Shejaia continues to detain bodies, which also hinders the Palestinians from moving legally and demanding the opening of investigations into the circumstances of the martyrdom. Thus, the occupation hides the evidence from the human rights and legal institutions, and prevents them from taking any action against it, especially since “the Palestinian families always have suspicions about the theft of the organs of their martyrs.” .
The occupation sets conditions when handing over bodies, such as limiting the number of mourners to 25 people, preventing the entry of cameras into the cemetery, and paying financial guarantees to implement these conditions, according to the spokesman.
The year of child extermination
With great efforts, the national campaign has recovered about 375 bodies from the graves of figures and refrigerators since its launch in 2008, and is still continuing its procedures in the corridors of the Israeli Supreme Court.
For its part, Defense for Children International – Palestine Branch said that 2023 is the year of “genocide” against Palestinian children at the hands of the Israeli occupation. The movement stated in its annual statement issued on January 9 that Israel has killed 8,000 children in Gaza and 81 in the West Bank and Jerusalem since October 7, compared to 121 children it killed in 2023.
The global movement estimated in its statement that approximately 165 Palestinian children were arrested by the occupation during 2023, and that between 500 and 700 Palestinian children were detained by Israel in its prisons and tried in military courts.