At least 400 Palestinian children have been arrested by Israeli authorities since the beginning of the year, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PSS) said.
In a statement released to mark International Children’s Day which will be marked tomorrow, the PSS stated: “The Israeli occupation authorities have arrested 400 Palestinian children under the age of 18 since the beginning of this year, most of them from East Jerusalem.”
“The Israeli authorities continue to hold 170 Palestinian children in their prisons.”
“Israel is committing various violations against Palestinian children during their detention, including preventing them from completing their studies, depriving some of them of family visits in prison, and isolating them in individual cells,” the statement added.
The most common charge is stone-throwing, which the Israeli military considers to be a “security offence”. Those found guilty can get up to 20 years in prison, depending on the child’s age.
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The Israeli army carries out frequent arrest campaigns across the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians.
Children living in occupied East Jerusalem are the most targeted, the PPS said. Many apparently face arrest at least once a month.
Israeli security forces have used unnecessary force to arrest or detain Palestinian children as young as 11.
Israel is the only country in the world to prosecute children routinely in military courts that lack basic safeguards for a fair trial. Moreover, Palestinian children detained by Israel face abuse and systematic torture, which has been legitimised by the judiciary and government.
The PPS called on international human rights institutions to take action and put pressure on Israel to end its abuse of Palestinian children.
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