TEL AVIV - A 15-year-old Palestinian boy carrying five pipe bombs was detained by IDF forces at the Hawara roadblock south of the West Bank town of Nablus.
The boy, identified as Hassan Hashash, was obviously sent by someone and terrified, a soldier involved in the incident told Ynet.
“You could see it’s a young child who was sent (by someone.) I looked into his eyes, he was on the brink of tears and scared to death,” said Muli, a paratrooper whose full name cannot be revealed for security reasons.
“The boy pulled out a matchbox, held up a pipe bomb, and attempted to detonate it,” Muli said. “We aimed our weapons at him and told him to move away from us.”
Jacket on a hot day
After the boy was instructed to remove his jacket, soldiers discovered another four pipe bombs and a knife, Muli said.
The boy aroused the troops’ suspicions after approaching the Hawara roadblock wearing a jacket, despite the hot weather.
Later, sappers were dispatched to the scene in order to neutralize the explosive devices.
Arrested on purpose?
Hassan may have wanted to be detained by the army in order to do his high-school matriculation exams in an Israeli prison, says his brother Amar.
“There’s a rumor among youngsters that it’s easier to succeed in Israeli jails,” he told Ynet. “Many boys were detained at roadblocks with weapons, in order to do the tests in jail.
Family friends said Hassan’s father was very strict with his son, who was not succeeding in school. Therefore, they estimate, the boy attempted to incriminate himself at the roadblock.
“Hassan thought that now he would be with his friends, who were detained in recent weeks, and that way they could study and succeed together,” one acquaintance said.
Another boy detained 3 months ago
A 15-year-old boy was detained at the same checkpoint only three months ago. In that case, the youngster was carrying a bag containing an explosive belt, an improvised weapon, and 20 bullets.
During his interrogation, the boy said he was asked to hand over the bag to a man on the other side of the roadblock.
Tuesday’s incident comes amid signs that the lull in violence may be ending. Over the weekend, Palestinians fired dozens of mortar shells and Qassam rockets at Gaza Strip settlements and IDF posts.