New report: No Way to Treat a Child, Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system
April 14, 2016
Defense for Children International – Palestine published a new report, No Way to Treat a Child, detailing the widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system. From meals prepared in a makeshift kitchen to adult prisoner “caregivers,” the report also gives a rare glimpse into Palestinian children’s daily living conditions in Israeli prisons.
DCIP based the report on the testimonies of 429 children detained by the Israeli military or police in the occupied West Bank between January 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.