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WATCH: Reporter trolls U.S. State Dept. after Israeli forces steal Palestinian child’s bike

posted on: Aug 8, 2016

WATCH: Reporter trolls U.S. State Dept. after Israeli forces steal Palestinian child’s bike
An Israeli occupation police officer stealing the bike of an 8-year-old Palestinian girl in the occupied West Bank (Credit: YouTube/BTselem)


In a surreal moment in the daily press briefing on Thursday, a reporter asked the U.S. State Department spokesperson about the theft of the bicycle of a crying 8-year-old Palestinian girl by Israeli occupation forces.

The State Department spokesperson responded robotically with a detailed description of Israel’s “security concerns,” its “strong democracy” and its “ironclad” alliance with the U.S.

A widely circulated video published by an Israeli human rights organization this week shows Israeli police officers taking the young girl’s bike and throwing it in nearby bushes.

The video was taken in late July in the Palestinian city Hebron, in the occupied West Bank. It was published by B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.

The Israeli officers later told investigators they took the child’s bike in order to protect her.

The incident highlights the daily oppression endured even by young Palestinian children living under Israel’s illegal 49-year military occupation.

Another report released this week by B’Tselem details how, on July 19, Israeli forces shot a black sponge round at the chest of a 10-year-old Palestinian boy, killing him.

In the U.S. State Department daily press briefing on Thursday, Aug. 4 (video below), journalist Said Arikat, the Washington bureau chief at Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, asked spokesperson Mark Toner about the incident.

“Should Israel compensate this little girl for the bicycle?” the reporter asked, 35 minutes into the briefing.

The State Department spokesperson said he could not answer the question. He instead talked about “the tensions that exist in Israel regarding security and security concerns.”

“But you subsidize Israel to the tune of billions of dollars,” Arikat replied, alluding to the $3.1 billion in unconditional military aid the U.S. gives to Israel every year.

“Should you deduct $100 from the $40 billion or so that you’re about to give Israel for the next 10 years, and say this is to replace the bicycle?” he asked.

Toner responded with a long discussion of “Israel’s national security interests” and the U.S.’s “ironclad” alliance with Israel, calling it “a strong proponent of democratic values in the region.”

He then briefly added that he is “not aware of any efforts” to compensate the Palestinian girl.

Watch the bizarre interaction below. A transcript of the discussion follows the video.