More than 600 Palestinian children were kept by Israeli courts under house arrest in 2022, the Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Commission said that the Israeli occupation authorities resort to house arrest in occupied East Jerusalem as a form of punishment for children under the age of 14 because Israeli law does not permit their imprisonment.
Courts usually order the detention of children in their homes for a period during which the cases against them are examined and a ruling is issued. This process may take a few days or up to a year or more. The sentence issued against the child does not, however, take into account the period spent in house detention.
During this period, children are forced not to leave their homes; they must wear a tracking device, and will not be allowed to attend school or even go to a clinic without being accompanied by a supervisor.
Very often, parents are forced to sell their homes or use their savings to deposit large sums of money in the court treasury to guarantee the implementation of conditions for the release of their children.
Another form of house arrest is the removal of children from family homes and forcing them to stay at a house outside their city. This is now the case of four children from Jerusalem, all under the age of 18.
Two were forced to remain in prison in the city of Al Ramlah, and two in other cities, a step that divides families and increases their financial hardship because they are forced to rent houses far from their homes.
House arrest often results in complex psychological conditions on children and their families.
The Commission said that house arrest deprives children of their right to education and creates a constant feeling of anxiety, fear and deprivation, which causes psychological instability, sometimes manifested in involuntary urination and excessive nervousness.