A Palestinian teenager arrested by the military Monday was blindfolded and handcuffed as he was escorted through the shopping area of a hospital in Jerusalem, sparking outrage by rights groups and dovish lawmakers.
The Israel Defense Forces told The Times of Israel that the detainee was being brought for a medical test at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The IDF did not disclose why he was arrested.
The hospital said security personnel intervened and removed the handcuffs and blindfold, before bringing the teen to the pediatric department for the undisclosed medical test.
Handcuffing and blindfolding Palestinian detainees is standard procedure in the Israeli army, but doing so through a hospital was “an error that should not have occurred,” a military spokesperson said.
The soldier was not briefed by his commanders before escorting the detainee. The IDF did not say if any punitive action would be taken against the soldier or his commanders.
The Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) group said handcuffing and blindfolding detainees in hospitals violates medical ethics.
“This practice harms prisoners and detainees and for good reason has been completely banned by the Israel Medical Association,” said Anat Litvin, head of PHRI’s prisoners’ department.
“We are happy that the Shaare Zedek hospital worked to correct the situation that occurred,” she added in a statement to The Times of Israel.
Meretz MK Mossi Raz slammed the incident in a Twitter post. “This is what it looks like when the norms of the occupation seep inside Israel’s borders,” Raz said.
The IDF has ramped up arrests in the West Bank in recent months, saying they are necessary to dismantle terror networks and to thwart attacks against Israelis.