Last year, a group of UK lawyers published a report, Children in Military Custody, reviewing how children are treated in Israel’s military court system taking into account both the legal framework and practice. Eighteen months later, Military Court Watch (MCW) has reviewed the report’s 40 recommendations and assessed whether they have been substantially or partially implemented, or not implemented at all. The findings are presented below. Read: Assessing developments in Israel's juvenile military courts Military Court Watch is a voluntary association founded by a small group of lawyers and other professionals with a belief in the rule of law. MCW is guided by two basic principles.…Read More...
Hours before the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Qaddum last Friday, Israeli soldiers detained four Palestinian children aged five to nine for allegedly rolling burning tires. Under Israeli military law, the age of criminal culpability is 12. The soldiers reportedly threw stun grenades at and handcuffed the small children, raising the question: is there no other way to disperse a group of small children? +972 special coverage: 'Children Under Occupation' http://youtu.be/Wkuphd3f4-k Related: Data shows worsening situation for children in Israeli military detention WATCH: IDF detains 5-year-old Palestinian in Hebron, blindfolds and handcuffs fatherRead More... | 12 Comments
A UNICEF report indicates a measurable deterioration in the treatment of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention in the months since the UN organization recommended serious changes. By Gerard Horton In March 2013, UNICEF published a report – Children in Israeli Military Detention. The report’s main finding was that the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process. In response to these findings, the Israeli Foreign Ministry stated it would study the conclusions and work to implement the 38 recommendations through ongoing cooperation with UNICEF. Read +972′s…Read More... | 2 Comments
The military law applied to Palestinians must provide rights and protections no less favorable than those afforded to Israeli citizens living in the settlements. By Gerard Horton Last month, Israeli housing minister Uri Ariel announced the approval of 1,200 more houses for settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, adding to the 520,000 already living there, including Mr. Ariel himself. Only time will tell, but this announcement, like the many that proceeded, may one day prove to contain a fatal sting in the tail for the idea of Israel as a democratic state with a Jewish majority. For there is…Read More... | 6 Comments
Since 1967, Israel has issued 1,700 military orders and between 750,000-800,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been prosecuted in Israeli military courts and imprisoned. Technically speaking, Israeli military law applies to all persons in the West Bank, whether they be Palestinian or Israeli, but in practice civilian law is applied to the settlers, whereas military law, with far fewer rights and protections, is reserved for Palestinians, giving rise to a situation of unlawful discrimination. Read: The bottom line is equal rights for all The following report, prepared by Military Court Watch, showcases the Israeli occupation's legal discrimination, as it affects…Read More... | 1 Comment
There’s no symmetry and no comparison between a pack of kids with slingshots and the fifth largest nuclear superpower in the world. And if the side at which violence is directed perceives no threat, is that supposed violence real? By Amitai Ben Abba The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Guerrilla of Qaddum’s children is running to and fro with stones and sometimes slingshots, making funny sounds at the soldiers that are lying bored overloaded with weapons and riot gear in the sun on the hill. Kids have secret worlds of wandering imagination and play. In my own childhood, I would roam…Read More... | 3 Comments
With a political process that consistently demands peace without justice, Palestinian children living in the occupied territories have been denied justice at almost every turn. By Brad Parker Israel seldom holds its officials and individual perpetrators accountable for violations of Palestinian human rights, particularly against children. The resulting impunity grants Israeli forces a license to expand, rather than curb, violations systemic to Israel’s 46-year-old military occupation. Just last week, five-year-old Wadi’a Maswadeh, a Palestinian boy from the West Bank city of Hebron, was detained for nearly two hours after reportedly throwing a stone at a passing Israeli settler car. Notwithstanding…Read More...
While the Israeli public and media failed to take any significant notice of a recent UN report criticizing Israel’s policy on children’s arrests and detention, some European officials and NGOs are speaking out about the abuses. By Galit Saporta (Edited by Ami Asher) It seems that yet another report, this time from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), regarding abuses that occur during arrest, interrogation and detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli army, has failed to generate any public attention in Israel. Only one article in Haaretz (“It’s only Palestinian children,” June 27, 2013) has…Read More... | 18 Comments
The continued discussion of the almost 13-year-old Al-Dura affair reflects the current Israeli government's inability to conduct serious and impartial investigations into violations of Palestinian rights. By Brad Parker On Wednesday, Philippe Karsenty, a French media analyst, was convicted of defamation for accusing a French television network of orchestrating video footage of the famous shooting of 12-year-old Mohammad al-Dura in Gaza during September 2000. Over the past 13 years, the shooting has been at the center of Israeli nationalist sentiments of victimization, whether by the media, the international community or anyone else that criticizes Israeli policies toward Palestinians. While the verdict may do…Read More... | 22 Comments
A story in 'The Australian' newspaper offers a glimpse into the makings of a UN report on Palestinian children detained by Israel, including a look into how Israeli pressure reportedly muffled the report's criticism. The issue of Israel's treatment of detained minors has been gaining more and more attention in recent weeks. Aside from ongoing parliamentary debates in the UK, Israel's Channel 2 News aired a story on the nighttime arrests of child stone-throwers in the Al-Arub Refugee Camp (Hebrew), and we at +972 published Samar Hazboun's beautiful and horrific photo essay of children's testimonies from their detention. Both of these…Read More... | 13 Comments
'Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian Children Imprisoned by Israel' uncovers one of the most painful experiences that Palestinian children endure in the ongoing Israeli occupation. Through interviews with ex-detainees and mothers of minors presently in detention, the project documents their stories and aims to lend a voice to those who are silenced from fear of negative repercussions. Text and photos by: Samar Hazboun Over the past 11 years, according to Defence for Children International, some 7,500 children have been detained in Israeli prisons and detention facilities. Muhammad Daoud Dirbas, at the age of six, was the youngest child to have been…Read More... | 53 Comments
New Year's resolutions offer us a glimpse into the hopes of the children who live under Israeli occupation. A colleague of mine, a fellow journalist and writer, teaches English to Palestinian children in Hebron. I visited her recently in the West Bank and she generously shared her teenage students' New Year's resolutions. They are published here, sans names, with the students' permission. From a teenage boy: *Study hard *Be lovely *Don't hurt others *Work better *Keep your mouth closed *Imagine well *Never give up *Eat healthy food *Hate injustice *Like to help others *Smile *Fight bad insects The next one…Read More... | 16 Comments
The different legal systems under which Israelis and Palestinians are tried apply to children as well. As +972 has consistently documented, Palestinian children arrested by the army are treated by the military court system as "potential terrorists." The visual below demonstrates what would happen should two 12-year-old boys, one Israeli and one Palestinian, get arrested for fighting. One would swiftly be brought before a judge, given access to a lawyer, tried and spared jail time. The other could face two years in jail without trial. This illustration is the eighth in a series of infographics on Palestinian civilian life under occupation.…Read More... | 36 Comments
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