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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now let's turn to Israel. A three-year-old girl, Adel Biton, is just getting out of the hospital after spending two months in intensive care. She was severely injured when rocks thrown at her family car caused her mother to crash. The family was driving to their home in an Israeli settlement in the Occupied West Bank. Earlier this month, Israeli prosecutors charged five Palestinian teenagers. They said they threw the stones and they charged them with attempted murder, according to a defense lawyer in the case.

NPR's Emily Harris has that story.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Suhaila Hammed describes the night Israeli soldiers came to her home.

SUHAILA HAMMED: They came around 2:00. We were sleeping. They started to knock the door - very hard, you know.

HARRIS: About 15 soldiers came in, she says. More waited outside. The soldiers asked for her 17-year-old son, Tareq.

HAMMED: They went to his room and they took all his clothes on the floor. Everything the floor, and they start, you know, shouting. And he wanted to use the bathroom and change his clothes, they started shouting no, just go out and that's it.

HARRIS: Tareq was accused of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in his village, Silwad, in the occupied West Bank. Suhaila says it was very hard to watch soldiers handcuff him, blindfold him and take him away.

HAMMED: You know, I have seen that scene before. Because my husband, they took him many times from the house, tied his hands, same view, you know. But I don't know, maybe my son, is harder. Yeah, I feel bad, really.

HARRIS: Over the next couple of weeks, she saw him only briefly at court hearings. Tareq told her that soldiers hit him with their fists and rifle butts, and poured hot coffee on his leg.

Randa Wahbe, with the Palestinian prisoners rights organization Adameer, says it's common for Palestinian minors in Israeli military courts to be questioned without parents or lawyers, and held for weeks without charges.

RANDA WAHBE: This is a huge problem in the West Bank for these children. We're seeing a lot of post-traumatic stress disorder and a lot of further implications in the society. For example, a lot of children who are arrested don't go back to school. They're traumatized.

HARRIS: People targeted by stones can also be traumatized.

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HARRIS: Doctors in a children's hospital near Tel Aviv are gathered at the bedside of two-year-old Adele Haya Beaton. She was critically injured when a rock hit her family's car two months ago, causing her mother Adva Beaton to swerve into a truck.

ADVA BEATON: I just remember the boom, the boom behind me. After that I don't remember anything. I just found myself under the truck. I see Adele Haya next to me with a lot of blood and hearing the screaming and the yelling behind me.

HARRIS: Adva repeats a phrase Israeli officials often say: Stones kill.

BEATON: We need all the time to remember that the Palestinian terrorists who came and threw us the stones wants to kill us. Wants to murder us. This is the fact.

HARRIS: An Israeli journalist caused an outcry among Israeli settlers when she recently wrote that throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Right now, Israeli soldiers are permitted to use live ammunition against stone-throwers only as a last resort, when their lives are in danger. Adva Beaton says that should change.

BEATON: Not all the Palestinians are bad and want to throw stones. But we need to remember that if we will all the time look them throwing stones or blocks, and we don't do anything, just standing there, it will be not influence all this situation.

HARRIS: Suhaila Hammed says her son Tareq and his friends also want to do something to influence a situation they find unbearable - Israeli soldiers on their land.

HAMMED: I told him, I want you just to study and look after your future. Go to college like everyone. He said yes, but this is our country. We have to do something. We can't just keep watching them.

HARRIS: Tareq was released from prison after 17 days. He's out on a plea bargain and a four year parole deal. He's home with his family now, but he says he's not afraid to be arrested again.

TAREQ HAMMED: I don't care. I have my friends in the jail and I don't care.

HARRIS: Still, when there was a big clash with soldiers in his village the week he got out of prison, Tareq told his mother he did not join other Palestinian boys throwing rocks.

Emily Harris, NPR News

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