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Increase in number of Palestinian children held in solitary confinement

The number of Palestinian children ill-treated and held in solitary confinement in Israeli jails has risen since 2012, a specialist report released earlier this month said.

An international human rights organisation which specialises in the defence of Palestinian children in Israeli jails issued the report and submitted copies to several UN figures and organisations calling for urgent intervention.

Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine) recorded that in 20 per cent of cases where children were detained in 2013, a child was subjected to solitary confinement, citing a two per cent increase from the year before.

Representative of DCI-Palestine Ayed Abu Qtaish said: "The use of solitary confinement against Palestinian children as an interrogative tool is an increasing phenomenon in Israel."

Qtaish added: "This is a breach of children's human right and the international community must call for holding perpetrators accountable and achieving justice."

The report noted that it is globally known that juveniles are held in solitary confinement as a disciplinary measure or to protect them from adults. "But the Israeli authorities do not use solitary confinement for disciplinary or protection purposes," he said.

In the report, DCI-Palestine included data collected from 98 former Palestinian juvenile prisoners aged between 12 and 17.

Last October, UNICEF said that Israel had agreed to try different ways in dealing with Palestinian children whom it detains from the occupied West Bank.

UNICEF suggested Israeli occupation forces send summons to children instead of breaking into houses at midnight. However, midnight invasions continued.

Israel has detained and interrogated around 7,000 Palestinian children whose ages range between 12 and 17.


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