Tuesday, March 27, 2012

8,000 West Bank children arrested since 2000, says new report

Jillian Kestler-D'Amours
The Electronic Intifada
Beit Sahour 26 March 2012

"BEIT SAHOUR, West Bank (IPS) - Hamza has memories that no 17-year-old should have.

Last year, he was arrested in the middle of the night on suspicion that he threw stones at Israeli settlers near his school in the West Bank. He was handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten on the way to interrogation.....

Save the Children and the East Jerusalem YMCA Rehabilitation Program released a report on 11 March about the impact of Israeli arrests and detention on Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation. The organizations estimate that since 2000, Israel has arrested and detained over 8,000 Palestinian children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including some as young as 12.

Handcuffed and blindfolded, the children — who are most often arrested on suspicion of throwing stones — are transported to either Israeli prisons or settlements in the West Bank for interrogation, which almost always take place without the children’s parents or a lawyer present, the report stated.

All Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to Israel’s military courts system, which was set up shortly after Israel began occupying the territory in 1967. According to the report, these courts “are not intended to function as a comprehensive legal system” but rather, “must be understood as the ‘judicial arm’ of the occupying power, which means that the emphasis lies more on security than on justice.”....."

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