|Palestinian girls detained for stealing cherries|
(Scroll down for video) Four Palestinian girls were arrested on charges of theft after allegedly stealing cherries from a grove, B’Tselem reported.
On Tuesday, the Shai Police Department detained the four Palestinian girls, ages 11 to 15, of the South Hebron Hills, after a Jewish farmer of Ma'on, complained that they had picked cherries from his grove.
The girls were on their way home from school, escorted by the army. They were taken to the police station in Hebron, and detained for questioning until late afternoon. They were handed over to the Palestinian police, and were released to their homes.
The incident unfolded when the girls of a-Tuwani school were dismissed early, at 10:00 a.m., because of final exams. The students of the Kh. a-Tuba and Maghayir al-'Abid villages, waited for the military patrol that escorts them home.
Children who have to walk by the Havat Ma’on outpost on their way to and from school, have been escorted by the army for the past ten years, under the instructions of a Knesset committee. At 11:00 a.m., the farmer of Ma’on and the settlement’s head of security stopped the children, who were escorted by the army jeep, and prevented them from continuing on their way.
The grove owner said that the four girls had picked cherries, and he called the police. The soldiers and the schoolchildren waited at the scene until the police arrived.
The officers arrived about 12:00 p.m., and asked the grove owner to identify the girls he had accused of the theft. After he pointed to the girls, they were taken to the Hebron Police station.
The girls were identified as Inshirah Jundiyeh, 11, under the age of criminal liability, sisters Randa Makhrameh, 12, and Noor Makhrameh, 13, and Dalal Zein, 15, who is mute. During questioning, which lasted only a few minutes, the girls were told they were suspected of breaching the grove fence and stealing fruit.
They were handed over to the Palestinian Police shortly before 5:00 p.m.