I don’t know whether to laugh or cry over Amira Hass’ latest report in Haaretz that the Shin Bet ordered the IDF to produce a Palestinian Arab named Za’arir from the West Bank village of Beit Omar for questioning. Instead, they went to the house of the Za’akik family in the same village and demanded its 7 year-old son appear for questioning:
On June 10, the Za’akik family from the West Bank village of Beit Omar awoke to loud knocks at the door. The father of the family opened, and three Israeli soldiers entered the house; one of them, whom the father thought to be the commander, asked for the boy, M. His father told the officer that M. was seven years old, and showed him his identification, stating the boy’s date of birth as September 17, 2002.
The mother noticed that the officer laughed upon seeing the document, but he delivered the summons nonetheless. The mother understood from him that the 7-year-old must attend a meeting with “Captain Tamir” of the Shin Bet security services at the offices of the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories (COGAT ), in the settlement bloc of Gush Etzion the next morning. The family decided not to send the child to the Shin Bet office, but because they feared the soldiers might return and arrest the boy, they consulted the organization Defense for Children International.
The family told Hass that there was no one in the village named Za’arir. The IDF naturally claims there was and that it was simply an unfortunate error. One has to wonder at the ineptitude that would cause someone in the Shin Bet to misidentify a 7 year old boy named Za’akik with their actual target named Za’arir. Can they not read? Not to mention the utter cluelessness of the IDF officer who handed the summons to the family. Did this oaf not realize that summoning a 7 year old for Shin Bet questioning was ludicrous? One has to wonder whether this is yet another example of the vaunted intelligence capabilities of the IDF and Shin Bet.