Palestinian Children’s Right to Education Denied in Israeli Prisons

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian youth. (Photo:

Palestinian children from Jerusalem arrested by Israeli occupation forces are subjected to “a deliberate policy to de-educate”, reported prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

According to Addameer,

“Over 800 Palestinian children from Jerusalem were arrested in 2018”, and the year “ended with at least 41 detained children from occupied East Jerusalem.”

Although, “under international human rights law, Palestinian children, including those in detention, have the right to adequate education”, “this right is denied in Israeli prisons”, stated Addameer.

Palestinian children typically get a range of 20 hours a week of classes, compared to an average of 35 hours in regular schools, the organization reported.

“Most of the time the classes do not meet the level of the child and at times children do not get any form of education in prison.”

Addameer and TDH Italy conducted interviews with Palestinian children from occupied East Jerusalem, between September and December 2018, some while still in detention, others after they had been released.

The interviews showed that a quarter of the children “did not receive any education during detention”, while the others only received Arabic, maths and sometimes Hebrew classes.

A contrast with Israeli child prisoners is also instructive.

“Israeli child prisoners held at Ofer participate in a differentiated educational program that fully supports the emotional and academic needs of child detainees while preparing them to succeed in the Israeli matriculation exam.”

Addameer noted that “Israel is under an obligation to respect and uphold the rights of the Palestinian population in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law.”

Yet Palestinian children continue to “suffer from restrictions on education imposed by the Israeli occupation forces in prison”, violating the right to education “in different forms”.

Addameer is urging “third state parties to uphold their responsibilities and pressure the Israeli occupation forces to respect its obligations in accordance with international legal standards.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

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