Palestine: Children arrested, abused and imprisoned

According to Israeli police, 1200 Palestinian children have been arrested, interrogated and imprisoned in the occupied city of Jerusalem alone this year. The youngest of these children was seven-years old.

Children and teen-agers are often dragged out of their beds in the middle of the night, taken in handcuffs for questioning, threatened, humiliated and many are subjected to physical violence while under arrest as part of an ongoing campaign against the children of Palestine.

Since the year 2000, more than 8000 have been arrested by Israel, and reports of mistreatment are commonplace. Further, based on sworn affidavits collected in 2009 from 100 of these children, lawyers working in the occupied West Bank with Defence Children International, a Geneva-based non governmental organization, finds that 69% are beaten and kicked, 49% are threatened, 14% are held in solitary confinement, 12% are threatened with sexual assault, including rape, and 32% are forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew, a language they do not understand.

Minors are often asked to give names and incriminate friends and relatives as a condition of their release. Such institutionalised and systematic mistreatment of Palestinian children by the state of Israel is a violation international law and specifically contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Israel is supposedly a signatory.



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