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Terrorizing Palestinian Youths

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Terrorizing Palestinian Youths

Israel treats children and youths like adults.

by Stephen Lendman

Based on spurious charges or others too minor to matter, Israel arrests, tortures, traumatizes, convicts, and detains hundreds of Palestinian youths lawlessly. Many suffer lasting effects.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) discussed one case. It reflects virtually all others. To protect the youth's identity, he's called "Minor A," or simply "A."

Arrested on suspicion of stone-throwing, his ordeal included cruel and usual treatment. In the middle of the night on January 23, 2011, 14-year old "A" was arrested at home in Nabi Saleh village near Ramallah. It followed a week earlier raid. At the time, no arrests were made.

"Massive numbers of armed security forces" were involved. He was detained many hours under harsh conditions before transfer to police custody for interrogation. During the time, he was terrorized, unable to sleep, given no food or water, or allowed bathroom privileges.

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Tired without sleep, interrogation began. "A's" basic rights applicable to minors and all detainees were denied. They include due process, presence of a parent or relative, as well as counsel, the right to remain silent, and not forced to confess.

After interrogation, he was detained another four days, eight more at the military prosecutor's request, then extended because his family couldn't meet terms to release him under house arrest. 

On January 30, he was indicted for stone-throwing, as well as organizing and participating in an illegal demonstration without permit permission. He was detained two months until granted house arrest with restrictions.

"A's" lawyer, Gaby Lasky, petitioned the military court to disqualify his forced confession. He was denied. The military judge ruled that confessions given police are admissible, even when rights are severely violated and interrogation practices flawed. More on that below.

ACRI said the ruling "provides an unconventional interpretation of many violations of the rights of minors in criminal proceedings, both on the level of policy and legislation as well as on a practical level, and at all stages of the process - from the arrest and detention through the interrogation to the legal procedures in the military courts."

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"A" participated regularly in nonviolent weekly Nabi Saleh demonstrations. At issue is encroachment by Halamish the settlement on village land, as well as harsh restrictions denying Palestinians access to their agricultural property and al-Qus spring water rightfully theirs. It supplied the village until lawlessly seized in 2006 for settlement use.

Flawed Interrogation and Trial Proceedings

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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