The number of Palestinian children detained by Israeli occupation forces has more than doubled since last October, a recent report by Human Rights Watch revealed.
Published on Monday, the shocking report highlighted escalating abuse of Palestinian children by Israeli forces, evidenced by interviews with children who have been detained, video footage, and reports from lawyers.
The report revealed that Israeli security forces apply excessive force in arresting and detaining children, where children are frequently beaten and held in unsafe and abusive conditions.
“Palestinian children are treated in ways that would terrify and traumatize an adult. Screams, threats, and beatings are no way for the police to treat a child or to get accurate information from them.” said Sari Bashi, HRW Israel and Palestine country director.
Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons are routinely interrogated without a parent present, a practice that violates international and even domestic Israeli laws, HRW’s report underlined.
The report detailed three new cases of physical abuse of children in custody and interrogation practices that violate legal and human rights of child detainees.
In one of the cases, at least seven Israeli police officers in riot gear participated in the arrest, slapping and dragging the 15-year-old boy and placing him in a chokehold.
The children, aged 14, 15, and 16 were detained by Israeli forces at the eve of the Jerusalem intifada last October. Currently, 406 Palestinian children are being held in occupation military lockups, 108 of whom are under the age of 16 according to documentation by prisoners’ rights association Addameer.
“The failure to abide by international norms and protections under Israeli law concerning child detainees is particularly worrying given the spike in the number of children arrested.” The report concluded.