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Human rights groups reveal cruel treatment of Palestinian children by Israel

Middle East Monitor


June 4, 2014

Defence for Children International, Palestine (DCI) and the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) have said that the Israeli occupation is mistreating Palestinian children.

Jordan's Al-Ghad daily newspaper reported that DCI lawyers collected information from witnesses who either experienced detention or have relatives of detained children. According to the witnesses, most detentions of children are carried out late at night as Israeli soldiers violently break into their homes and terrorise them and their families.

All children who gave their accounts said they were handcuffed, leg-chained, blindfolded and moved on foot to military vehicles, which are always positioned hundreds of metres from their homes. In most cases, the children are woken up by Israeli soldiers kicking them while they are in bed.

One child said that he woke up after the soldiers started kicking him while he was still in bed before cuffing his hands and chaining his legs, during which time one of his figures was badly injured.

In most cases, Israeli soldiers hit and insult family members when they ask why their children are being detained or ask for information about where they would be taken. Most times, children are detained without being accompanied by any adult family members or the soldiers giving any information about the conditions of their detention.

Witnesses said that during the investigations, they are physically and mentally tortured. Israeli soldiers hit their heads against the walls and threaten them with sexual abuse and rape.

Another child reported that after he was hit, all his family members were locked in one room. He was put in the main hall and then four of his friends were brought to his house while the soldiers hit him violently. Under torture, he confessed that he and his friends had hurled stones.

When he was taken to an investigation centre, he denied the confession and said that he had given it under duress and in order to make the soldiers stop hitting him.

The information regarding the mistreatment of children includes many violations, such as: the long duration of the investigations where the children are forced to sit in a small chair with their hands tied behind their backs and their legs tied to the chairs; threats of more hitting and torture, as well as threats to rape mothers and sisters.

They are also prevented from using toilets for long hours during the investigations, have very little food and water, and can be locked in solitary confinement for days and weeks. One child said he was locked in solitary confinement for 28 days in a very inappropriate cell.

Children described their cells as very small with tiny windows. There is only a small room and a toilet, which smells very bad. There are small spots on the walls that make it difficult to recline on them and there is a very weak yellow lighting that hurts their eyes.

Most of the children were strip-searched during their investigation. When they refused to be strip-searched, they were violently beaten.


:: Article nr. 107538 sent on 10-jun-2014 23:14 ECT


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