Gary Lineker criticised for sharing video of Israeli soldiers abusing Palestinian children

Former England footballer lashes back at ex-IDF official in Twitter row over ‘sickening’ footage from West Bank city of Hebron 

Wednesday 13 December 2017 16:42
Footage shows Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinian children

Commentator and ex-England footballer Gary Lineker has been roundly criticised by Israel supporters after sharing a harrowing video which shows Palestinian children being shouted at, dragged around and detained by Israeli soldiers.

Eighteen youths, most under the age of 18, were arrested in total for throwing stones at soldiers in the 13 October incident, the footage of which was recently released by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

They were blindfolded during interrogations and not allowed access to their families or lawyers until their release that night.

Mr Lineker, who is vocal in his support for the Palestinian cause, retweeted a clip of the incident posted by prominent pro-Palestinian activist Ben White with the the word “sickening”.

While it was retweeted thousands of times by people sympathetic towards the detained children, many others were critical of Mr Lineker - including the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) former spokesperson Peter Lerner replied to tell the footballer he had “completely missed the point”.

”When kids throw stones they are a public menace. They need to be stopped. Yes, the video is unpleasant but it conveniently shares only a glimpse of what happened, the aftermath of their actions. You should be wiser than this,” he posted.

The argument continued after Mr Lineker replied, “They should be stuffed into a small cage? You should be wiser.”

In the back and forth Mr Lerner said the video “lacked context”. The former Leicester City player replied that the context was clear.

Soldiers drag 8-year-old from house to house in Hebron for over an hour

“Sometimes detention is required,” the ex IDF official responded.

Lineker was also embroiled in a Twitter row in 2015 after posting a video which showed Israeli soldiers shooting at a Palestinian who had been throwing stones.

B’Tselem themselves replied to Mr Lineker: “Unfortunately, this is routine all through the West Bank. Palestinian minors' rights are violated systematically by Israeli authorities.”

The IDF and Cogat, the Israeli military administration in the West Bank, did not immediately respond to The Independent’s requests for comment.