JERUSALEM - Israeli troops in the West Bank detained four Palestinian children aged five to nine years for more than an hour Friday with their hands cuffed, Palestinian witnesses said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said that troops rounded up some minors during rioting in the northern West bank village of Kfar Qaddum but held them only briefly.
"A group of Palestinian children were detected setting fire to tyres," she said. "These riots usually start with burning tyres being rolled at security forces."
"Soldiers rounded up the children to prevent mayhem and when a commander arrived shortly afterwards they were released," she said.
She did not give their ages or say if handcuffs were used, but said that the incident was being reviewed by the military.
Palestinian activist Murad Ashtiye told AFP that clashes erupted with soldiers in the village during the weekly protest there against Israeli occupation by Palestinians and international activists.
"Four children who were present in the area had stun grenades thrown at them by Israeli soldiers, which frightened them," said Ashtiye of the village's Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.
"Then the soldiers arrested them and tied their hands behind their backs using plastic strips," he added, identifying the children as Tariq Hikmet, 9, Hossam Khaldun, 7, six-year old Malak Hikmet and Ahmad Abdessalam, 5.