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Palestinian killed, several injured in Khan Younis airstrike
Palestinian children 'subject to violence' in Israeli jails
Published Tuesday 20/03/2012 (updated) 23/03/2012 18:09
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Bedouin children play near their houses in Arab Ar-Ramaden near the West
Bank city of Qalqiliya. (MaanImages/Khaleel Reash, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian children are systematically ill-treated in Israeli detention, and in some cases tortured, an international child rights group said on Tuesday.

The report by Defence for Children International records that a majority of children are detained from villages near "friction points" -- Israeli settlements in the West Bank, or Israeli military and settler-only roads.

Around 7,500 Palestinians under-18 years old have been detained by Israel since 2001, an average of nearly two children every day, DCI says.

Documenting testimonies of 311 children detained by Israel over four years, the report found that three-quarters of children say they were subjected to physical violence during Israeli detention.

Some 95 percent say they were held in hand ties, and 90 percent tell of being blindfolded. A third were strip-searched during detention, according to the report testimonies.

Most children experience a "coercive interrogation," DCI said, noting that while initially protesting innocence, at least 90 percent finally plead guilty, "as this is the quickest way out of a system that denies children bail in 87 per cent of cases."

"Unlike Israeli children living in settlements in the West Bank, Palestinian children are not accompanied by a parent and are generally interrogated without the benefit of legal advice, or being informed of their right to silence," the report notes.

Most children confess to stone-throwing, the report says. The Israeli army says that rock throwing is a serious offense that can cause injury or death.

"Palestinian boys, sometimes as young as 13 or 14 engage in stone throwing by hand or sling shot on Israeli cars, or army vehicles," said Arye Shalitar, an Israeli military spokesman.

"It sounds like the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is just arresting kids, but people don't understand that these kids are very violent. Instead of playing soccer they are endangering the lives of Israelis."

But DCI says much of the pattern of abuse amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as defined in the UN Convention against Torture, and Israel fails to provide effective complaint mechanisms.

At a minimum, the report recommends that Israel end night raids, administrative detention, solitary confinement and other ill-treatment. But it adds: "no child should be prosecuted in military courts which lack comprehensive fair trial and juvenile justice standards."

"No one should be under any illusion that the treatment documented in the report can be eliminated so long as the friction points (of settlements and military roads) remain and Palestinian children are treated as second-class individuals," the report says.

Reuters contributed to this report
1 ) Camma / EU
20/03/2012 16:49
How many countries would NOT arrest youths throwing stones at cars and people? These kids should stop it if they don't want to be arrested.

2 ) Truth & / Consequences
20/03/2012 17:39
Of the "7,500 Palestinians under-18 years old detained by Israel since 2001":
- 99% are probably above the age of 15 (unlike children pictured above),
- 100% have engaged in rock throwing,
- many "graduated" to actually participated in terror in some way, and
- some even attempted to murder Jews, or even to suicide bomb civilians,
so these "children" are more like criminals from other countries !!!

3 ) Robert Haymond / Israel/Canada
20/03/2012 17:58
Report is disingenuous. More baloney propaganda on the heels of Catherine Ashton's recent miserable remark. "Children" include seventeen and sixteen year olds, old enough to shoot guns and throw dangerous rocks at Israeli automobiles. They are honoured at home for being "Palestinian" heros, not chastized for involving themselves in violence. Therefore, the IDF has to take them in. And showing images of real children behind a fence as a caption is really low-level, Maan.

4 ) Jakel / US
20/03/2012 18:46
About five stone thowers a month are arrested - out of hundreds of stone throwers eligible for arrest each month. They are put down in an Israeli "black-mark" file for life. That is the real violence.

5 ) Chimo / USA
20/03/2012 19:09
It's absolutely disgusting that this publication is trying to insinuate that Israeli soldiers go around arresting 6 and 7 years old palestinian children and then beating them in jail. I'm sure they do arrest palestinian teenagers sho throw rocks and molotov cocktails, but you show a picture of little kids behind a gate with bars on it and try and insinuate tyhat it is these children that the IDF goes after. Truly sickening that Maan has sunk to this level

6 ) Arnold / Canada
20/03/2012 19:14
Terrible that these children even have to experience being arrested. What is even more terrible is why they end up being violent stone throwers. It is all part of the Palestinian public school education system. You go from sling shots to rocks and when you graduate you get guns.

7 ) Julie / USA
21/03/2012 00:45
THANK YOU DCI !!!!! add this report to the list of crimes against humanity to be prosecuted at the ICC !!!!!

8 ) US Citizen / US
21/03/2012 06:17
What you have here is an apartheid entity and their sole aim is to dehumanize and defame the Palestinians and their children all under the nose of EU and with the help of Uncle Sam with total disregard. This brutal occupation that steals, jails, bombs, humiliates is guided and governed by war criminals that have lost any sense of human decency, is far from being a Democracy and as bad as any third world entity. Sooner than later something is going to have to give.

9 ) Robert / US
22/03/2012 21:03
Arnold/Canada #6 at it again i see i dont know why maan lets you post this crap?. ive seen Israeli kids as young as 5 with pistols. and yes Israelis throw rocks but for what reason ?. Do you and others really know whats going on or do you just shoot from the hip ?.

10 ) Truth in / Numbers
23/03/2012 15:44
Of the 2,098 Palestinian children that were taken into custody last year:
- 80% were between Ages 16-18, with 40% actually being sentenced,
- 20% were less than Age 16, with NONE being sentenced, and
HALF being released before their legal process even concluded !!!
( http://www.btselem.org/statistics/minors_in_custody )
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