Israeli paratroopers stop 15-year-old Palestinian from detonating himself

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hassan Hashash, a Palestinian aged 15, was detained by the Israeli military on Tuesday, April 12, at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus in the West Bank. Hashash had been hiding five explosive charges under a winter coat before attempting to ignite one in the presence of Israeli soldiers, the military said. In the sweltering 26°C (78°F) heat, the teenager's incongruous attire caught the attention of an IDF paratrooper nicknamed Muli.

"The boy pulled out a matchbox, held up a pipe bomb, and attempted to detonate it," said Muli. "We aimed our weapons at him and told him to move away from us" (Ynet).

The military reported that after taking the youth to an isolated area they searched him and found another four explosives.

"You could see it's a young child who was sent [by someone]," said Muli. "I looked into his eyes: he was on the brink of tears and scared to death."

The Hawara checkpoint has seen this kind of trouble before. In April 2004, soldiers there arrested a 16-year-old, also Palestinian, with a suicide bomb strapped to his body. The teenager, Hussam Abdo, later told an Israeli newspaper he was on a mission to kill Israeli soldiers. [1]

Israeli radio noted that this is the third Palestinian child in the past two months caught attempting to transfer explosives past Israeli checkpoints.