Israeli courts issued nearly 250 “house arrest” orders against children since the start of the Jerusalem Intifada in October 2015, the head of research in the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said.
In a press release, Abdel Nasser Farawneh said that these orders are considered an alternative to prison time and aim to restrict children’s freedom. Such orders have increased considerably during the Jerusalem Intifada.
He stressed that the Israeli authorities increased their oppressive measures, unfair sentences, imposition of high fines, brutal treatment, blatant violations and discriminatory laws against Palestinian children since the outbreak of the intifada. This is a part of Israel’s attempts to systematically target Palestinian children.
Farawneh added that “house arrest” means children must remain in their homes for a certain amount of time, while a member of the family supervise their confinement. This turns homes into prisons and makes the parents jailers monitoring their children. This forces them to prevent their children from leaving their home, even for treatment or study in adherence to the orders of the Israeli court. In addition to this, heavy fines are imposed on the family.
He explains that there are two types of house arrest. The first type forces the individual, including children, men and women to remain in their homes. They cannot leave their homes at all during the time of the imprisonment.
The second type, which is considered worse than the first, is the imposition of house arrest on children by placing them in a relative’s house, far from the family home and their neighbourhood. This fragments the family, worries them and causes tension in the relationship between the child and their parents. It also leads to psychological and social issues for the child and their family.
According to Farawneh, house arrest is an arbitrary and immoral measure that violates international humanitarian and human rights laws. It is considered collective punishment for the entire family.