When older Palestinian boys started throwing stones at Israeli border police in the West Bank village of Biddo, 13-year-old Muhammed Badwan went along to watch.

He ended up on the hood of an Israeli jeep, with one of his skinny arms tied to a wire mesh screen that blocks the windshield from incoming stones, according to a photograph of the purported incident distributed by an Israeli rights group.

"He was a shield for them," Saeed Badwan, a 34-year-old labourer, said of his only son. "When I saw him on the hood of the jeep, my whole mind went crazy … It's a picture you can't even imagine. He was shivering from fear."

The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said it was monitoring West Bank anti-barrier protests after Palestinian complaints of rising violence by Israeli security forces.

Medics say four Palestinians have been shot dead this year in Biddo in rock throwing protests against the wall. An elderly man also died of heart failure after inhaling tear gas.

Biddo activists said border police had in two separate instances this month used villagers as shields to prevent stone throwing. They said forces had also repeatedly used both rubber and live bullets to disperse protesters.

"I was scared when they got me at first. I thought they would put me in prison … I was scared a stone would hit me," Badwan said, nursing a split lip a week after his hours-long detention. Stone throwing mostly stopped when he was on the jeep.

"I cried on the hood of the jeep, and when I saw my dad."

Israel's Supreme Court has barred the use of Palestinians as human shields.

"There is supposed to be an injunction against the military … But there is evidence it is still continuing. It is less, but it does happen," said Marwan Dalal, a lawyer with the Israeli Arab rights group Adalah.

"I am sure it happens more than is documented."

An Israeli rabbi who said he too was detained as a human shield when he tried to intervene to free Badwan last week said he planned to press charges.

'It is very … sad'.

"It is very depressing and very sad to see that we have come to this position where this is what we do," said Rabbi Arik Ascherman, head of Rabbis for Human Rights.

Badwan said he did not consider all Israelis his enemy. "If I saw an Israeli child, I would respect him, not hit him," Badwan said. "The soldier was not good, an animal. But the man who came to help me is an honourable person."