[Ppnews] UN: Palestinian Children Tortured, Used As Shields By Israel

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 21 15:44:14 EDT 2013

    UN: Palestinian Children Tortured, Used As Shields By Israel

Published on Friday, 21 June 2013 12:48


A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of 
mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in 
custody and using others as human shields.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said Palestinian children in 
the occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza Strip, captured by Israel in 
the 1967 war, are normally not allowed to have their birth registered, 
and are denied access to health care, decent schooling as well as safe 
drinking water.

"Palestinian children arrested by (Israeli) military and police are 
systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of 
torture, are interrogated in Hebrew, a language they did not understand, 
and sign confessions in Hebrew in order to be released," it said in a 

The UN committee also expressed regret over Israel's "persistent 
refusal" to respond to requests for information on children in the 
Palestinian territories and occupied Golan Heights since the last review 
in 2002.

"Hundreds of Palestinian children have been killed and thousands injured 
over the reporting period as a result of Israel military operations, 
especially in Gaza where Israel proceeded to [conduct] air and naval 
strikes on densely populated areas with a significant presence of 
children, thus disregarding the principles of proportionality and 
distinction," the report stated.

The UN report also stated that an estimated 7,000 Palestinian children 
aged 12 to 17, but some as young as nine, have been arrested, 
interrogated and detained over the past ten years.

Many are brought in leg chains and shackles before military courts, 
while youths are held in solitary confinement, sometimes for months, the 
report said.

It voiced deep concern at the "continuous use of Palestinian children as 
human shields and informants", saying 14 such cases had been reported 
between January 2010 and March 2013 alone.

Israeli soldiers had used Palestinian children to enter potentially 
dangerous buildings and forced them to stand in front of military 
vehicles to deter stone-throwing, it said.

"Almost all those using children as human shields and informants have 
remained unpunished and the soldiers convicted for having forced at 
gunpoint a nine-year-old child to search bags suspected of containing 
explosives only received a suspended sentence of three months and were 

Israel's "illegal long-standing occupation" of Palestinian territory and 
the Golan Heights, continued expansion of "unlawful" settlements, 
construction of the separation fence into the West Bank, land 
confiscation and destruction of homes and livelihoods "constitute severe 
and continuous violations of the rights of Palestinian children and 
their families," it said.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry reacted angrily to the UN Committee on the 
Rights of the Child report, and described it as "recycled old stuff."

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