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    <h1 class="page__title title balance-text" id="page-title">Number of
      Palestinian children in Israeli prisons doubles</h1>
    <header class="node__header">
      <p class="node__submitted">
        <span class="field field-author"><a
            href="https://electronicintifada.net/people/charlotte-silver"
            typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel"
            datatype="">Charlotte Silver</a></span>
        <br>
        <span class="field field-publication-date"><span
            class="date-display-single" property="dc:date"
            datatype="xsd:dateTime" content="2015-12-08T23:53:46+00:00">8
            December 2015<br>
            <b><small><small><small><a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/number-palestinian-children-israeli-prisons-doubles">https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/number-palestinian-children-israeli-prisons-doubles</a></small></small></small></b><br>
          </span></span> </p>
    </header>
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    <p>Marah Bakir, 16, was leaving school in occupied East Jerusalem’s
      <a href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/sheikh-jarrah">Sheikh
        Jarrah</a> neighborhood on 12 October when she was shot and
      injured by Israeli police. They allege she intended to stab an
      officer.</p>
    <p>However, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights <a
href="http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11326:weekly-report-on-israeli-human-rights-violations-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territory-08-13-oct-2015&catid=84:weekly-2009&Itemid=183">reported</a>
      that Marah had been walking with a friend when they were harassed
      by an Israeli who accused her of being a “terrorist.” Witnesses
      said police quickly surrounded her and opened fire four or five
      times.</p>
    <p>Marah is now one of three Palestinian teenage girls held in <a
        href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/ramle-prison">Ramle
        prison</a> with Israeli women convicted of criminal offenses.</p>
    <h2>Filthy cell</h2>
    <p>The Palestinian rights group <a
        href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/addameer">Addameer</a>
      <a
href="http://addameer.org/news/israeli-occupation-detains-three-underage-girls-under-inhumane-conditions">says</a>
      keeping the girls in this prison amounts to psychological torture
      because they are isolated from other Palestinian female <a
        href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/political-prisoners">political
        prisoners</a>, who are held at <a
        href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/hasharon">Hasharon
        prison</a>.</p>
    <p>The girls live in constant fear and avoid sleeping, the group
      says. The three are being held in a filthy cell with two bunk
      beds, a blanket and a mattress.</p>
    <p><a
        href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/israel-prison-service">Israel
        Prison Service</a> guards confiscated the girls’ warm clothes
      and headscarves, and keep them shackled during their recreation
      period, according to Addameer, whose lawyers have visited them.</p>
    <p>Addameer reports that neither Marah nor her 14-year-old cellmate
      <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-killed-boys-they-sought-soldiers-help-group-says">Istabraq
        Nour</a> are receiving necessary follow-up treatment for bullet
      wounds.</p>
    <p>Istabraq was shot and detained last month. Israel <a
        href="http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=768384">claimed</a>
      she intended to sneak into the extremist Israeli <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-killed-boys-they-sought-soldiers-help-group-says">stronghold</a>
      of <a href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/yitzhar">Yitzhar</a>,
      a settlement in the occupied West Bank, with a knife.</p>
    <h2>Surging arrests</h2>
    <p>Minors represent <a
href="http://www.dci-palestine.org/israel_targets_palestinian_children_in_east_jerusalem_with_harsh_policies">approximately
        a fifth of the 2,000 Palestinians</a> Israel has detained since
      violence escalated at the beginning of October. Palestinian
      children from occupied East Jerusalem form a large part of this
      group.</p>
    <p>With the surge in arrests, the number of Palestinian children in
      Israeli detention <a
        href="http://www.dci-palestine.org/children_in_israeli_detention">doubled</a>
      to 307 at the end of October compared with 155 at the end of
      August.</p>
    <p>While children living under Israeli military rule in most of the
      occupied West Bank have long been <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/content/palestinian-child-faces-10-years-israeli-jail/14707">denied
        basic rights</a>, those in East Jerusalem are ostensibly subject
      to the same civil laws and judicial system as Israeli citizens and
      have <a href="http://www.btselem.org/jerusalem/legal_status">access</a>
      to Israel’s national insurance system.</p>
    <p>But human rights groups have documented a deterioration in their
      treatment and conditions in Israeli detention as well.</p>
    <p>In order to accommodate the large number of children it is
      arresting, Israel opened a new wing for Palestinian minors at
      Givon prison in October.</p>
    <p>According to Addameer’s Rafat Sub Laban, there are now
      approximately 75 children at Givon, most of them from Jerusalem.</p>
    <p>The facility has a maximum of 12 cells, each with six beds,
      indicating that even Givon is at capacity.</p>
    <p>As The Electronic Intifada <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-strip-searches-children-new-detention-center/14999">reported</a>
      last month, the conditions at the prison are abysmal.</p>
    <p>Lawyers from human rights groups, including the <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/public-committee-against-torture-israel">Public
        Committee Against Torture in Israel</a>, Addameer and Defense
      for Children International–Palestine, have all collected
      testimonies from children, who report being beaten, denied
      adequate food and held in moldy and frigid jail cells.</p>
    <p>Children told Addameer’s lawyer during a 3 December visit that
      they suffer from nightmares, sleep disorders and are subjected to
      beatings, threats and sleep deprivation.</p>
    <p>As in the cases of Marah Bakir and Istabraq Nour, some children
      at Givon are not receiving adequate medical attention.</p>
    <p>Addameer’s Sub Laban told The Electronic Intifada that normally
      there is a Palestinian adult stationed in prisons with Palestinian
      children to act as a liaison with prison authorities. But no such
      person exists in Givon.</p>
    <h2>Parents barred</h2>
    <p>The youngest Palestinian alleged by Israel to be involved in a
      stabbing is 12-year-old Ali Alqam.</p>
    <p>Ali and his 14-year-old cousin, Muawiya, are accused of stabbing
      and lightly wounding a security guard on a light rail train near
      Beit Hanina in occupied East Jerusalem on 10 November.</p>
    <p>Ali was hit by three bullets in his abdomen, pelvis and right
      hand.</p>
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        file-figure"><source
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    <p>A lawyer with Defense for Children International–Palestine
      visited Ali on 15 November while he was still at Hadassah hospital
      in Jerusalem.</p>
    <p>A spokesperson for the group told The Electronic Intifada that
      police prohibited their lawyer from asking questions about Ali’s
      interrogation. Ali’s family also said that the police prevented
      them from visiting their son in the hospital.</p>
    <p>According to Addameer’s Rafat Sub Laban, Muawiya is being held at
      Givon and Ali is detained at a closed rehabilitation facility
      while they both await trial.</p>
    <h2>Targeting children</h2>
    <p>Even before the recent escalation, Israeli violence against
      Palestinian minors in custody was on the rise.</p>
    <p>Between January and June 2015, 86 percent of Palestinian children
      reported some kind of physical violence after their arrest,
      according to <a
href="http://www.dci-palestine.org/rising_physical_violence_against_palestinian_child_detainees">data</a>
      collected by Defense for Children International–Palestine – an
      increase of 10 percent from the prior year.</p>
    <p>Since Israel’s intensified crackdown on Palestinians began more
      than two months ago, violations of the rights of Palestinian
      children in Israel’s civil court system have sharply increased.</p>
    <p>In November, Israel’s parliament approved a series of harsh
      measures.</p>
    <p>The Knesset gave <a
        href="https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=769026">preliminary
        approval</a> to a bill to imprison children as young as 12 who
      are accused of terrorism. The law will affect Palestinian citizens
      of Israel and Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.</p>
    <p>Israel’s current laws bar imprisonment of children under the age
      of 14.</p>
    <p>Earlier in the month, the Knesset <a
href="http://www.dci-palestine.org/israel_targets_palestinian_children_in_east_jerusalem_with_harsh_policies">passed
        a law</a> mandating sentences of 4 to 10 years for throwing
      stones at moving vehicles.</p>
    <p>Israeli lawmakers also amended the national insurance law so that
      benefits can be revoked from children convicted of
      “nationalistic-motivated” offenses or “terrorist activities.”</p>
    <p>They also raised the fines courts can impose on their families to
      more than $2,500 dollars.</p>
    <p>While the laws do not specify that Palestinians are the targets,
      human rights groups anticipate this will be how they are applied.</p>
    <p>“Previous policy changes affecting related offenses have applied
      almost exclusively to the Palestinian population” in occupied East
      Jerusalem, Addameer and Defense for Children
      International–Palestine say in a <a
href="http://www.dci-palestine.org/israel_targets_palestinian_children_in_east_jerusalem_with_harsh_policies">joint
        statement</a>.</p>
    <h2>Extrajudicial executions</h2>
    <p>Palestinian children have also not escaped Israel’s policy of <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/tags/extrajudicial-executions">extrajudicial
        executions</a>.</p>
    <p>Of more than 100 Palestinians killed in October and November, 23
      were children, <a
        href="http://www.ochaopt.org/poc24november-30november-2015.aspx">according</a>
      to the United Nations monitoring group OCHA.</p>
    <p>The majority were killed during alleged stabbing attempts, but in
      a number of cases eyewitnesses and video footage indicate that the
      youths were killed when they posed no immediate threat.</p>
    <p>Human rights organizations and international monitors have <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israels-executions-palestinian-teens-must-end-amnesty-says">condemned</a>
      Israel’s routine practice of extrajudicial executions.</p>
    <p>In some instances, like in the killings in separate incidents of
      16-year-olds <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/content/why-wont-israel-allow-autopsy-youth-killed-police/15020">Mutaz
        Uweisat</a> and <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/netanyahu-responsible-executions-children-rights-group-says">Ahmad
        Abu al-Rab</a>, Israel has <a
        href="http://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/8690">denied
        requests</a> by families and human rights groups for autopsies
      or independent investigations.</p>
    <p>Israel is also still withholding the bodies of dozens of
      Palestinians killed in such incidents, making it even harder to
      independently determine what happened.</p>
    <p>As long as Israel faces little of the international
      accountability human rights defenders are urging, children will
      continue to bear the brunt of the escalating violence it uses to
      maintain its occupation.</p>
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