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The reality of Palestinian children in Israeli jails

March 3, 2014 at 11:48 am

Israel has repeatedly declared its intention to continue working with UNICEF to devote efforts to solve the issue of the mistreatment of Palestinian children.

The treatment of Palestinian children under detention as it is practiced today contradicts Israel’s intention and contributes to the continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

By the end of January this year, it was reported that a total of 183 Palestinian children were prosecuted and detained in the Israeli court system, a rise of 18.8 per cent over the month. The figure includes twenty children between 14 and 15-years-old.

It was also reported that 75 per cent of Palestinian children imprisoned in the Israeli detention in the occupied West Bank were physical assaulted during interrogations and detentions.

In one such case in January, Israeli forces detained Salah S. from Qalqiya. Salah was detained while he was playing with his friends near a road restricted for Israeli forces and settler use. He was held overnight and was transferred to different locations within twelve hours, while being subjected to intense torture and brutal treatment.

In 2013 Salah, who was 15 at that time, was also imprisoned for ten months at Megiddo detention facility in Israel.

Haitham Sabbah reported that in early January this year, sixteen Palestinians from Hebron were also detained by Israeli forces, amongst them were nine children, some as young as 13, on allegation of stone throwing.

A study conducted by Defence for Children International (DCI) in the occupied Palestine territories showed that Palestinian children in Israeli prisons are being subjected to torture, sleep deprivation and blindfolded.

In contrast to their Israeli counterparts, Palestinian kids do not have a right to be accompanied by their parents during questioning. According to DCI, in 96 per cent of cases children were interrogated alone and seldom informed of their rights, especially their rights against self-incrimination.

Every year, there are about 500-700 Palestinian children, many as young as 12, are held captive in Israeli prisons. The most frequent charge is stone throwing.

Presently, 41.5 per cent of Palestinian child detainees are imprisoned inside Israel in infringement of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

For the most recent figures regarding Palestinian children detained in Israeli jails please click here and here.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.