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General News    H2'ed 1/26/18

Palestinian Kids Shot, Abused, Imprisoned by Israeli Soldiers: How to Help

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In the last 5 decades, an estimated 45,000 Palestinian children have been detained by the military (Source: MCW ). Since 2000, an estimated 12,000 Palestinian children have been detained by Israeli forces from the occupied West Bank and held in the Israeli military detention system -- many of them are as young as 12 years old. In some cases, even 6 and 7 year olds have been detained by the military as well. Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year, and hundreds more are arrested and released later without prosecution.

An average of 200-300 children are held in Israeli detention on a monthly basis.

Sources: No Way to Treat a Child , Military Court Watch, Save the Children , Addameer

How are children treated when arrested?

Interviews with children who have been detained, video footage, and reports from lawyers reveal that Israeli security forces are using unnecessary force and violence in arresting and detaining children, in some cases beating them, and often holding them in unsafe and abusive conditions. Source: HRW .

Violent arrests:

Many children are arrested in the middle of the night, awakened at their homes by heavily armed soldiers. Many of them wake up to the sound of soldiers banging loudly on their front door, using stun grenades, and shouting instructions for the family to leave the house.

Children report that they are frightened by the soldiers storming into their homes, in which furniture and windows are sometimes broken, accusations and verbal threats are shouted, and family members are forced to stand outside in their night clothes as the accused child is forcibly removed from the home and taken away with vague explanations such as "he is coming with us and we will return him later", or simply that the child is "wanted". Few children or parents are informed as to where the child is being taken, why or for how long. Source: UNICEF

He (the soldier raiding our house) told my father: "bring him in or we'll shoot him"

Y.H., detained at age of 17

Source: Save the Children

Other children have been arrested while they were playing or just outside school in front of all their friends. They are sometimes kicked, beaten, and even choked in the process. Plastic handcuffs are regularly tied so tightly to their wrists that they may create wounds. Most children are blindfolded and hand-tied during their transportation, and the majority report being beaten while arrested (Source: DCI ) . For example, a Human Rights Watch report details the story of Rashid S., an 11 year old, who said that Israeli border police forces officers threw a stun grenade (a non-lethal explosive device that produces a blinding light and intensely loud noise causing loss of balance) at him and put him in a chokehold when they arrested him.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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