Detention and Abuse of Children/Attacks on Families

Middle East Monitor (2/12/18) reports that 60% of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli occupation forces have been verbally, physically, or psychologically tortured and abused.

Detention and demonization of Palestinian children has been highlighted since December 2017 by the arrest of 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi. For many Palestinians, she is a symbol of resistance to a resistance to a half-century military occupation to a half-century military occupation that stands in the way of Palestinian independence and shows no sign of ending.

A new issue targeting children that has surfaced recently is the demolition of schools in Abu Nuwar, a Beouin and refugee community in Area C outside Jerusalem. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on 2/4/18 that 45 or more schools serving children as young as seven are facing demolition by the IDF “on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.” Another Catch-22, similar to the strategy of home demolitions.

April 14, 2016: Defense for Children International – Palestine published a report called No Way to Treat a Child detailing the widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detentions system.

DCIP based the report on the testimonies of 429 children detained by the Israeli military or police in the occupied West Bank between January 20 2012 and December 2015.

“International law is clear: children should only be detained as a last resort for the shortest appropriate period of time, and under absolutely no circumstances should they be subjected to torture or ill-treatment,” said Khaled Quzmar, DCIP general director. “And yet, year after year, we see Palestinian children experiencing widespread ill-treatment and the systematic denial of their due process rights by Israeli forces and the military law framework.”

Amid heightened violence in the fall of 2015, the number of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons skyrocketed to the highest it has been since February 2009. By the end of December, 422 Palestinian children were in the Israeli prison system. Among them were 116 between the ages of 12 and 15, the highest known total since January 2008 when the Israel Prison Service (IPS) began sharing data.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes between 500 and 700 children in military courts each year. Since 2012, Israel has held an average of 204 Palestinian children in custody each month, according to data provided by the IPS.

Military law has applied to Palestinians in the West Bank since 1967, when Israel occupied the territory following the Six Days War. Jewish settlers, however, who illegally reside within the bounds of the West Bank, are subject to the Israeli civilian legal framework. Accordingly, Israel operates two separate legal systems in the same territory.

Ill-treatment in the Israel military detention system remains “widespread, systematic, and institutionalized throughout the process,” according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report Children in Israeli Military Detention Observations and Recommendations. <;

Additional links:

Abuse & Detention of Children

Abuse & Detention of immigrant children in US