The Palestine Chronicle congratulates the Palestinian people and the Tamimi family on the release of teenage protest icon, Ahed Tamimi. It also reminds its readers and supporters of Palestinian rights everywhere that hundreds of Palestinian children continue to be imprisoned and are often tortured by their Israeli jailers.
Also, we must all keep in mind that nearly 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli jails, many of whom are imprisoned without trial (the so-called ‘administrative detention’), and almost all of them go through the customary weeks of torture.
According to a report by the Israeli rights group, B’tselem,
“At the end of May 2018, 291 Palestinian minors were held in Israeli prisons as security detainees and prisoners, including 3 administrative detainees. Another 6 Palestinian minors were held in Israel Prison Service facilities for being in Israel illegally. The IPS considers these minors – both detainees and prisoners – criminal offenders. In addition, a small number of minors are held in IDF-run facilities for short periods of time.”
— dohaPAUL (@dohaPAUL) October 25, 2017
According to a joint report published by B’tselem and HaMoked, Israeli forces violate Palestinian children’s rights as a matter of state policy.
The report states:
“Rather it is a case of a plain and clear policy followed by the various authorities: the police who carry out the arrests; the IPS (Israel Prison Service) which keeps the boys incarcerated in harsh conditions; and finally, the courts, where judges virtually automatically extend the boys’ custodial remand.”
"Palestinian Children Are Unable to Touch the Hearts of Israeli Jews. The military courts don’t treat Palestinian children as minors deserving protection: They sweepingly recommend that the children be detained until the conclusion of proceedings… https://t.co/uNuBecdbdi
— Lee Adam Wilshier (@LeeAdamWilshier) July 5, 2018
Indeed, prosecution of Palestinian children in Israeli military courts is systematic.
According to a report released by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC),
“Israel is the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes children in military courts – between 500 and 700 each year. The Israel Prison Service revealed that an average of 204 Palestinian children have been held in custody every month since 2012.”
Most of those children are accused of throwing stones as heavily-armed Israeli occupation soldiers.
Child detention in Palestine is a “system of control”, violating the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) art. 37(c); the CRC General Comment No. 10, para 89; the UN Standard Minimum Rules, rules 33 and 34; Tokyo Rules, rule 64.
Between 700 Palestinian children are arrested by Israeli soldiers each year, mostly accused of throwing stones. Since 2008, Defence for Children International (DCI) has collected sworn testimonies from 426 minors detained in Israel’s military justice system.@antonioguterres
— A.Nissa R. (@78redzuopjhfrt5) May 11, 2018
According to UNICEF, international law stipulates that,
“Children should be restrained only if they pose an imminent threat to themselves or to others, and all other means have been exhausted, or as a precaution against escape during transfer, but in all cases, only for as long as is strictly necessary.”
60% of Palestinian children arrested by Israel were verbally, physically or psychologically tortured, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club (PPC).
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) June 18, 2018
Many of the imprisoned children are also subjected to medical negligence, as in the case of teenage boy Hassan Tamimi, who lost his eyesight, because Israel did not allow the youth access to his medication. Hassan suffers from liver and kidney issues as a result of protein malabsorption since early childhood.