Palestinian researcher and former prisoner Abdul-Nasser Ferwaneh released statistics on Tuesday showing that Israeli occupation forces have detained around 9500 Palestinian minors since the beginning of the second Intifada in September 2000.
The statistics showed a steady increase in the number of minors detained over the last year. “This increase raises concerns about the future of the Palestinian childhood,” Ferwaneh said.
Minor detentions, according to the statistics, have been carried out randomly against both individual children and groups. The children are then exposed to different kinds of physical and psychological torture before, during and after the investigations.
“All confessions taken from them are always false because they are taken under torture and blackmail,” Ferwaneh said. “Then, Israeli courts insist on using such confessions.”
Ferwaneh described the detention centres, saying that “whether before or after their trials, they are kept in detention centres that lack the essential needs of a prisoner.”
Defying international human rights law, “Israeli occupation forces also use Palestinian minors as human shields.”
According to the statistics released by Ferwaneh, the annual detention rate of Palestinian minors is 760. Currently there are 243 minors under 18, including 42 under 16 in Israeli jails.
These statistics exclude hundreds of adult prisoners who were minors at the time of their detention, “Some of them received long-term and life sentences.”
During 2012 881 minors were detained, “an increase of 26 per cent from the previous year.”
However, what “raises serious concerns” is that during the first period of this year 293 minors have been detained, “a 9.3 per cent increase from the same time of the previous year and a 34.4 per cent increase from the same time in 2011.”
Ferwaneh insisted that such Israeli acts against Palestinian children constitute clear violations of international law conventions. He called for all human rights organisations to do their best to protect the Palestinian children from Israeli detention.