The Israeli occupation authorities have arrested about 19,000 children under the age of 18 since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, including children under 10 years old, and since the beginning of this year 2021 until the end of last October, it arrested 1,149 Palestinian minors and children, of both sexes.
There are still about 160 minors languishing in the prisons of the occupation, and they are distributed in Ofer, Damon and Megiddo prisons.
Documented statistics and testimonies of child detainees indicate that two thirds of detained children were subjected to one or more forms of physical torture, while all detainees were subjected to psychological torture during the various stages of detention.
Israel practices various forms of torture against detained children during and after their arrest, in a widespread and systematic manner, as grave violations of international law, especially the Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They suffer since the moment of their arrest, harsh interrogation until their taking them to prisons, including their arrest at night, beating them severely and deliberately in front of their relatives, shooting them before and during their arrest, and with their hands and feet cuffed and blindfolded.
Moreover, they are kept without food or drink for long hours, delay in informing them that they have a right to legal aid, and subjecting them to interrogation without the presence of their relatives, and it includes psychological and physical torture, in addition to extracting confessions from them and forcing them to sign papers without knowing its content, threatening and intimidating them, and subjecting some of them to intelligence investigations, and detaining them in interrogation and arrest centers for a period of up to two months.
The majority of them are held in prisons within the occupying country, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and which deprives the majority of visits to their relatives. This is in addition to the suffering of the families in obtaining the necessary visitation permits, which grant them the right of movement, as the occupation authorities delay in granting permits, which prolongs the waiting period, while depriving many families of obtaining them.
The occupation authorities also throw them into detention centers that lack the minimum standards of humanity, and deprive many of them of their right to education and medical treatment, as well as denying them the entry to clothing, personal items, and cultural books, in addition to imposing penalties on them, such as dismissal, withdrawal of personal items, and deprivation of Canteen.
Child detainees from the West Bank are subjected to military courts that lack basic guarantees for a fair trial, and without any regard for the privacy of their childhood and their rights.
The Israeli courts have set a racist definition for a Palestinian child for years, considering him a person who has not reached the age of 16, not 18, as defined or known by the Convention on the Rights of the Child or as The Israeli law itself defines the Israeli child, and it also calculates the age of the Palestinian child at the time of the ruling and not at the time of his struggle.
While Jerusalemite children are subject to the provisions of the Israeli Juvenile Law, in a discriminatory manner, as it distinguishes between a Palestinian child and an Israeli child when applying the law, and the Israeli occupation police deprive Jerusalemite children of their rights during arrest and investigation, so that exceptions have become the rule in dealing with Jerusalemite children, and the percentage of occupation arrest is considered for Jerusalemite minors, the rate is higher compared to the arrests of other minors from the West Bank.
The Israeli courts have issued unfair rulings against minors, after the amendments it made to some laws of juveniles, in line with the occupation’s attempt to legitimize the condemnation of children. In recent years, the Knesset has introduced legislation at the behest of the police, the prosecution, and the courts to sentence high sentences on acts of protest it performs. Minors, in addition to tracking social media posts and presenting them as “security” charges, and arresting children, subjecting them to trial and imprisonment.
In our organisation, we believe that these procedures violate the rights of the Palestinian child and his right to a decent and safe life, and they are issued by the occupation, in addition to its delegitimized laws, and that these trials violate all international and humanitarian laws stipulated in international conventions, and we call on the international community to put pressure on Israel to reverse the trial of children and immediately and unconditionally release those who are currently detained in its prisons.