Illegal “Wanted” Posters Hung by the IDF in the West Bank

Poster at the Al-'Arrub Refugee CampPoster at the Al-'Arrub Refugee Camp

At the end of December 2013, posters were hung in the Al-‘Arrub Refugee Camp in the West Bank with the pictures of 9 parents who have a child who is currently in a military prison facility or who has been arrested in the past. The names of the parents were written below their photograph alongside a threatening message asserting that if they do not prevent their children from participating in “acts of terror”, then “the IDF will be forced to intervene to stop the recurrence of these activities”.

 

The warning included the sentence: “Stop them before it’s too late. Consider yourselves warned” and is signed by “Abu Salam” of “IDF Forces Headquarters”. In early January 2014, additional threatening posters were distributed at the Al-‘Arrub Refugee Camp, but without pictures of the camp residents.

 

This is not the first time that the army has used posters with pictures of civilians to deter youth from throwing stones or participating in protest activities in the Occupied Territories. In June 2013, posters containing the pictures of four minors were hung in the town of Kafr Qadum with a similar threatening message.

 

On a number of occasions ACRI and B’Tselem contacted the Legal Adviser of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division to demand the immediate cessation of the illegal distribution of these posters as a method of dealing with riots and stone-throwing. ACRI Attorney Raghad Jaraisy and Noam Raz from B’tselem emphasized in this demand that there is no justification for such tactics of inciting fear and intimidation. If the IDF possesses any information pertaining to illegal activity performed by the parents in the photos or their children, then it must initiate legal proceedings as opposed to resorting to intimidation. In the absence of such legal proceedings, the publication of photographs of the residents is a serious violation of privacy and dignity, and extends even to the level of persecution due to the implied threat that they are being targeted. Moreover, the publication causes terror among the rest of the camps’ residents who feel that the army is attempting to sow fear among them and prevent them from participating in public protests.

 

Below is a translation of the threatening messages accompanying the warning posters.

Translation of the poster of 22 December 2013:

To the parents:

We hereby inform you that your children are involved in terrorist activitiesagainst citizens of the State of Israel. The activities of these youths endanger the lives of innocent civilians, and if they do not discontinue them, the IDF will be forced to adopt measures to prevent future recurrence these actions.

You are responsible for your children’s actions

If you do not keep them from continuing to engage in these activities, you will be subjected to severe restrictions that will negatively impact your lives.

Residents of al-‘Arrub, if you do not want your photos to appear in a notice like this one, put an end to the acts of terrorism perpetrated by your children.

Tell your children to stop the acts of aggression for the sake of their safety and their future.

Stop them before it’s too late.

Consider yourselves warned.

Abu Salam,

IDF Forces Headquarters

 

Translation of the poster of 22 December 2013:

To the residents of al-‘Arrub Refugee Camp

Instances of disturbances of the peace and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at citizens of the State of Israel are illegal. All legal measures will be taken against perpetrators and they will be subject to the highest fines and penalties.

Stone-throwing – punishable by a fine of up to thousands of shekels, in addition months in detention.

Throwing Molotov cocktails – punishable by a fine of up to 12,000 shekels and two years’ detention.

These fines will take a heavy toll on you and your families!

Parents – control your sons’ behavior so that your money won’t be wasted.

Take responsibility for yourselves, your children and your families. Invest your money in education, not violence!

Stop the stone and Molotov cocktail throwers!

Consider yourselves warned

Abu Salam

IDF Forces Headquarters

 

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Categories: Democracy and Civil Liberties, Due Process, The Occupied Territories, The Right to Privacy, Use of Force

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