The treatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli military has been criticised in a recent report by UNICEF, which states that the Israelis contravene international law and subject children to ill-treatment.
According to UNICEF “Ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized,” and that approximately 700 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17 are arrested, interrogated and detained by Israeli army, police and security agents.
The 22-page report cites examples of arrests of children at their homes between midnight and 5:00 am by heavily armed soldiers, as well as physical and verbal abuse during transfer to an interrogation site, and interrogation using physical violence and threats.
The paper also cites “treatment inconsistent with child rights,” including shackling minors during court appearances and incarcerating them in Israel, which isolates them from their families and interrupts their studies.
The majority of children prosecuted in the military courts are charged with throwing stones, which is an offence under Section 212 of Military Order 1651. It provides as follows:
(i) Throwing an object, including a stone, at a person or property with the intent to harm the person or property carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
Therefore, applying the limitation on sentences that can be imposed, a child aged between 12 and 13 years can receive a maximum sentence of six months, but a child aged between 14 and 15 years could in theory receive the maximum penalty of 10 years, as the maximum penalty for the offence exceeds five years; and
(ii) Throwing an object, including a stone, at a moving vehicle with the intent to harm it or the person travelling in it carries a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment.
Again, a child aged between 12 and 13 years can receive a maximum sentence of six months, but a child aged between 14 and 15 years could in theory receive the maximum penalty of 20 years, as the maximum penalty for the offence exceeds five years.
The report also found that Palestinian children are denied medical treatment while in detention and are denied access to legal representation or parents or other family members while being interrogated.
This shocking treatment of children may come as no surprise when considering the many atrocities and genocidal acts the Israeli government are responsible for against Palestinians.
What is more shocking is that the rest of the world (particularly western governments) continue to support Israel and offer little criticism of Zionist atrocities, let alone take action.
Hypocritically, those same supporters of Zionism are keen to intervene when lesser atrocities are committed by African or Arab nations, and actively support other regimes responsible for immense human suffering when it is in their commercial or financial interest.
The Israeli government are continually playing the role of the victim, yet they use brutal force against unarmed civilians who are doing nothing more than trying to protect their land and houses from being demolished and taken over by invaders, aggressors, abusers, who intend to wipe out their race and spread Zionist fascism and filth.