Mahmood Bassim Ghanim, 14, relates his story from the sofa in his parents’ house in Ya’abad, a village near the Palestinian city of Jenin. An air-conditioning unit, a point of pride for the family, blasts cold air into the room and the father’s engineering diploma hangs above the sofa. Mahmood folds the handkerchief flat and smoothes it out. He has the face of a child, the body of an adolescent, and the large hands and feet of an adult.
Mahmood was arrested twice in the space of two months. The first time he spent four days in jail; the second time he was beaten, interrogated and brought back home the next morning. On neither occasion did there seem to be any reason for his arrest. Perhaps the soldiers were bored. Maybe they made a mistake.