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British MPs sponsor motion on Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children

A Palestinian child is being arrested by Israeli security forces [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]

Half a dozen British parliamentarians have launched a parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) condemning the military detention of Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli authorities.

The primary sponsor of the EDM, officially tabled on Monday, is Labour MP Richard Burden, joined by five co-sponsors: Labour’s Lisa Nandy, Andy Slaughter, and Grahame Morris, along with the Liberal Democrats’ Alistair Carmichael, and SNP MP Tommy Sheppard.

The EDM begins by noting “with concern that hundreds of Palestinian children continue to be arrested, detained and tried in Israeli military courts, despite the practice involving widespread and systematic violations of international law and being widely condemned.”

The motion also notes “allegations of ill-treatment at the hands of Israeli authorities include blindfolding, physical violence and arrest at night”, and “the disparity between the treatment of Israeli and Palestinian children by Israeli authorities”.

Read: 300 Palestinian children held in Israel jails

The MPs urge Israeli authorities “to treat Palestinian children in a way that is not inferior to the way they would any Israeli child”, noting that “as the occupying power in the West Bank, Israel has a responsibility under international human rights conventions for the safety, welfare and human rights protection of Palestinian children living under occupation”.

The parliamentarians’ EDM also “notes with concern that the recommendations of UNICEF’s 2013 Children in Israeli Military Detention Report remain largely unmet”, and “urges the Government to urgently engage with the Government of Israel to end the widespread and systemic human rights violations suffered by Palestinian children in Israeli military custody.”

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