Aseven-year-old Palestinian boy was walking with his mother just outside the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum a few miles to west of the city of Nablus. Seeing a strange orange and black package held down with some rocks, the boy approached, thinking it was a toy. His mother quickly stopped him, summoning a relative to investigate. Foolishly, the man shook the package and it exploded, injuring his face and hands.
Along the popular path they found another device, this time photographing it and throwing stones at it until it too exploded.
That device was housed in a metal box used by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to store grenades, Israeli outlet Haaretz reports. That evening, after the images had caused outrage on social media, Israeli military units came and neutralized a third IED they had left on the path.
IDF sources freely admitted that they put the explosives on the commonly used road, doing it to “create a deterrence,” because “riots have regularly occurred” in the area. Kafr Qaddum is known as a hotbed of protest against the Israeli occupation, suggesting this was done in response to their activism. Warning signs, written in Hebrew only, were found close to the IEDs. “People live there, and children wander around,” said the injured man, “it’s lucky nothing worse happened.”
“Even in a place where revenge operations by soldiers have already become routine, soldiers planting improvised explosive devices is exceptional, and it’s pure luck that it didn’t cause far worse injuries,” Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said.
This is how armed gangs operate, not a regular army. But the action reflects the spirit of the army’s commanders and the government, both of which send the message that Palestinian lives and limbs are fair game.”