[Ppnews] Half Israel’s Palestinian child prisoners are held illegally outside West Bank

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Feb 12 12:07:53 EST 2013

  Half Israel’s Palestinian child prisoners are held illegally outside
  West Bank in G4S-equipped prisons

Submitted by Adri Nieuwhof on Tue, 02/12/2013 - 15:34

Israel is detaining 195 Palestinian children from the West Bank, more 
than half of them outside of the occupied territory in violation of 
international law, according to recent Israeli figures.

In an appeal from 
Defence for Children International - Palestine Section 
the group writes that over according to December 2012 Israeli Prison 
Service <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/israeli-prison-service> 
figures, 51 percent of child detainees had been transferred to Megiddo, 
Moscobiyye, Hasharon, and al-Jalame 
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/al-jalame-prison-0> (Kishon) prisons 
located outside the West Bank.

This transfer to Israel is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention 
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/fourth-geneva-convention>, in 
particular articles 49, 66 and 76. The latter states that “persons 
accused of offenses shall be detained in the occupied country.”

Israeli requires vistors from the West Bank and Gaza to obtain permits 
to travel to these prisons. This restrictive permit system is a serious 
obstacle for lawyer and families.

Ninety-four of these children are held in Ofer prison 
<http://electronicintifada.net/tags/ofer-prison> in the West Bank. All 
these detention facilities have been equipped by British-Danish security 
firm G4S <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/g4s>.

Who Profits <http://electronicintifada.net/tags/who-profits> (a project 
of the Coalition of Women for Peace based in Tel Aviv) has researched 
G4S’s role <http://www.whoprofits.org/company/g4s-israel-hashmira> in 
securing Israel’s prisons. They found that G4S Israel has installed and 
operates the central control room of the Megiddo prison. It has provided 
the entire security systems and central control room in Hasharon and the 
security systems for al-Jalame and Moscobiyye (also known as the Russian 
Compound) detention and interrogation centers.

At Ofer prison, G4S has installed peripheral defense systems and 
operates a central control room for the entire compound.

    Testimony of 15-year-old Salah

DCI Palestine continues to document testimonies by Palestinian child 
prisoners. For example, 15-year-old Salah 
was arrested by Israeli soldiers in Qalqiliya on 14 January. Salah was 
looking for sage plants in the small forest near his village when four 
Israeli soldiers accused him of having thrown stones. Salah denied this. 
He recounts:

    They started shouting at me. One of them punched me really hard in
    the face and knocked me down. The four of them started kicking me
    and hitting me with the barrel of their rifles.

Salah’s hands were then tied tightly behind his back with a single 
plastic cord. Salah’s father arrived but the soldiers prevented him from 
approaching his son. Salah was pulled by the plastic cord and made to 
walk very fast toward the main street. Once on the main street he was 
blindfolded and ordered to sit next to the jeep. About half an hour 
later more jeeps arrived and Salah was forced into one of them and made 
sit on the metal floor. He was not told where he was being taken.

Israeli soldiers inside the jeep verbally abused Salah insulting him and 
calling him “dog, son of a whore.” After the jeep stopped “they pulled 
me out and made me walk for about ten minutes, with one of them kicking 
me from behind. I was kept tied and blindfolded. I fell twice.”

At Ariel police station, Salah was interrogated without having been 
informed of his rights. Salah told DCI Palestine that the interrogator 
called him a liar for denying he had thrown stones:

    About ten minutes later, two of the four soldiers who arrested me
    came in and started slapping and kicking me about ten times at
    least. “You threw stones,” they were shouting. Then, the
    interrogator came back and saw them beating me, but he did not do
    anything. They stopped beating me and left the room. “Did you throw
    stones?” the interrogator asked. “Yes I did,” I said, because I was
    afraid they might come back and beat me again.

Salah was ordered to sign a statement written in Arabic without having 
read it or without having it been explained to him. Salah was again 
blindfolded and forced to sit on the metal floor of the jeep. With his 
hands tied, he arrived at Huwwara detention and interrogation center 
where he was strip searched.

    Two soldiers standing by the door started beating me for no reason.
    They slapped me several times and one of them hit me on the head
    with something. I felt so much pain and my head swelled. I did not
    know what he hit me with. I screamed because of the pain but they
    did not give me any medical attention. My head remained swollen for
    two days.

Later, Salah was transferred to Megiddo prison inside Israel and again 
strip searched on arrival.

    Testimony of 14-year-old Ehsan

On 13 December last year, 14-year-old Ehsan 
and his brother Osama were playing with a group of children near the 
wall. Two Israeli soldiers saw the group and “one of them opened fire at 
us for no reason.”

In response, some of the children began to throw stones at the soldiers. 
More soldiers arrived and began to chase the group catching Ehsan’s 
brother Osama. Ehsan returned to Osama to try to help him escape from 
the soldiers. Ehsan reached for his brother. The soldier who held Osama 
grabbed Ehsan and started to kick and slap him:

    They kept doing this for about five minutes. Then they tied my hands
    behind my back with two plastic cords and tightened them hard. They
    did the same to my brother.

They two brothers were blindfolded and pushed into a military jeep where 
they were forced to sit on the metal floor. They did not know they were 
taken to al-Jalame checkpoint, where they were pulled out of the jeep 
and forced to sit on the ground. “A soldier asked me why I threw stones 
and I told him that I did not do it, but he called me a liar, a dog and 
an animal.”

After two hours, they were taken to Salem interrogation and detention 
center where they were interrogated separately. The interrogator “did 
not explain my rights like my right to remain silent and to be 
interrogated with a lawyer or family member present.” Ehsan denied the 
accusation of throwing stones. Following the interrogation, Ehsan and 
Osama were transferred to Megiddo prison, inside Israel.

    We arrived at Megiddo prison late at night and they took us to a
    room one-by-one, where a jailer from the Israel Prison Service strip
    searched me by ordering me to take off all my clothes. I was
    completely naked like the day I was born and I was very ashamed.

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