[Pnews] Israel has detained 560 Palestinian minors in East Jerusalem so far in 2016

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 16 12:55:40 EDT 2016

*Report: Israel has detained 560 Palestinian minors in East Jerusalem so 
far in 2016*

Aug. 16, 2016 - http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772710


Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs head Issa Qaraqe announced 
on Tuesday that Israeli forces have detained 560 children from occupied 
East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2016, and that 110 minors were 
still being held in Israeli prisons, including four girls and 10 boys in 
juvenile detention centers.

Qaraqe made the statement Tuesday at the Al-Quds Charitable Society for 
Disabled and Special Education in the Shufat refugee camp in occupied 
East Jerusalem, where he spoke with families of Palestinian children 
being held in Israeli jails.

Qaraqe added that despite releasing many of the children, Israeli 
authorities imposed house-arrest orders on 60 children, and highlighted 
the fact that Israeli authorities have detained Palestinian children 
younger than 12 years old, which is a violation of human rights and 
international law.

The head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners, Amjad Abu 
Asab, said that most children held in Israeli jails were beaten and 
assaulted by Israeli forces.

Some of the minors, Abu Asab added, were injured and subsequently denied 
the right to have a family member present during interrogation. He 
warned that children held in Israeli prisons undergo numerous physical 
and psychological pressures that have “long term effects on their psyche.”

Joining Qaraqe and Abu Asab were families from occupied East Jerusalem 
whose children had been arrested by Israel, some of whom are still being 
held in prison.

The children's families discussed the many difficulties they face during 
family visitations, adding that Israeli courts impose expensive 
financial fees on the families and deprive injured children of proper 
medical care.

The father of Zayd al-Husseni, who was detained by Israeli forces, said 
that his son was “beaten monstrously while 100 Israeli soldiers raided 
their home and also let their police dogs assault [Zayd].”

Saif and Zayd al-Taweel's father recounted how Israeli forces broke his 
son Saif’s jaw after beating him while he was detained, adding that Zayd 
had been put under house arrest.

The father of Majd Saaeda, a minor who fell into a coma in Israel’s 
Megiddo prison, urged international and human rights organizations to 
“interfere immediately” to save his son’s life, and to release all 
children being held under Israeli detention in contravention of 
international human rights law.

An ongoing crackdown <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772397> 
has taken place in recent months on Palestinian children by Israeli 
police in East Jerusalem, as Palestinian communities in the occupied 
city have begun to feel the impact of Israeli legislation 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=767632> passed between 2014 and 
2015 increasing penalties for rock throwing, which allows for stone 
throwers to receive a 20-year prison sentence where intent to harm could 
be proven, and up to 10 years where it could not.

Rights group Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) cited 
in a report last month 
a number of recent cases of Palestinian minors being handed prison 
sentences for periods ranging between 12 to 39 months, with up to three 
years’ probation.

The widespread arrests put a spotlight on the well documented abuse of 
Palestinians children by Israeli forces and the harsh interrogation 
practices used to force their confessions, which has long been the 
target of criticism by the international community.

Despite “on paper” having more rights than Palestinian children in the 
occupied West Bank who are subject to a draconian military detention 
system, in practice, Jerusalem minors “do not enjoy their enshrined 
rights” under the Israeli civilian court system, according to DCIP.

Out of 65 cases documented by DCIP in 2015 
"more than a third of Jerusalem youth were arrested at night (38.5 
percent), the vast majority (87.7 percent) were restrained during 
arrest, and only a slim minority of children (10.8 percent) had a parent 
or lawyer present during interrogation."

According to affidavits taken by DCIP for last week’s report documenting 
the recent arrests and sentencing of Palestinian minors for rock 
throwing, two of the teenagers “both had maintained their innocence and 
confessed only after they had experienced physical and psychological abuse.”

The youth described being kicked and punched while handcuffed, choked, 
and having a door slammed in their face.

Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP, was quoted in 
the report as saying: “The changes in the penal code and policy 
guidelines since 2014 are discriminatory and target Palestinians, 
specifically youth. Israel is a signatory to the Convention of the 
Rights of the Child and we call on them to uphold their responsibilities.”

Interrogations of Palestinian children can last up to 90 days according 
to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, during which in addition to being 
beaten and threatened, cases of sexual assault and placement in solitary 
confinement to elicit confessions are also often reported, while 
confession documents they are forced to sign are in Hebrew -- a language 
most Palestinian children do not speak.

According to Addameer, as of July 2016, 7,000 Palestinians were being 
held in Israeli prisons, 350 of whom were children.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
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