Rock-throwing Palestinians have killed Israeli children, embassy tells Labour MP


The Israeli embassy in Britain has complained to a Labour MP about her claim that no Israeli children have been killed by stone-throwing Palestinians.

During a parliamentary debate on child detainees and prisoners in the Palestinian territories, Naz Shah claimed it was “absolutely unacceptable” to arrest children.

She said the Israeli government had provided no evidence of Israeli children being killed or injured by Palestinian minors protesting in the West Bank.

Eitan Na’eh, chargé d'affaires at the embassy in London, wrote to Ms Shah on Monday to express his “profound concern” about her claims.

Last Wednesday’s Westminster Hall session had seen more than a dozen MPs discuss issues relating to young Palestinians detained in the territories.

Bradford West MP Ms Shah had told colleagues: “The fact is that the disproportionality of someone throwing a stone or a rock and being detained for it is not acceptable.”

Her Labour colleague Ian Austin responded by saying Israeli four-year-old Adele Biton had been seriously injured when she was hit by a stone thrown by a Palestinian youth. The girl later died.

But Ms Shah concluded: “The Israeli government have not provided any evidence of any child causing a death, or contributing to a death, using a stone. There is no evidence of that.”

Mr Na’eh wrote that Palestinian minors had been involved in “deadly crimes” against Israeli civilians, including through the throwing of rocks.

He cited the case of Adele Biton and wrote: “I must impress upon you the fact that rock-throwing is a violent crime that can, and has, led to death on multiple occasions.

“In 2001 a five-month-old baby named Yehuda Shoham was killed when a rock thrown by Palestinian assailants smashed through the windscreen of the car his father was driving, crushing his skull.

“Rocks thrown by two Palestinian men in 2011 hit Asher Palmer in the head, causing his car to veer off the road and overturn, killing both him and his infant son Yonathan. These rocks…were lethal weapons.”

Mr Na’eh also highlighted the murder of five members of the Fogel family in 2011 after they were knifed to death by two Palestinian teenagers.

Ms Shah has not responded to the letter.

The debate had been led by Labour’s Sarah Champion who accused the Israeli Defence Forces of "mass intimidation and collective punishment" of Palestinians in order to protect Israeli settlers in the West Bank. She called for a “watchlist” of Israelis who have committed war crimes by detaining and interrogating Palestinian children.

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