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Children Under Occupation

In the past 12 years, Israel has detained and jailed over 7,500 Palestinian children. Children are often denied their protected rights as minors and are thrown into the military court system. This page is a collection of +972’s coverage of issues affecting children under occupation.

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  • After 50 years, military violence is the norm for Palestinian children

  • Israel's wars in Gaza propel child labor for Palestinian kids

  • Palestinian mothers teach life, not hate

  • Israel releases 12-year-old Palestinian girl, highlighting dual legal systems

  • Just another arbitrary detention of a Palestinian child

  • Number of Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons doubles

  • Pilot limiting night arrests of Palestinian kids falls short

    The Israeli army implemented a pilot program last year to serve Palestinian children with summonses instead of snatching them from their beds in the middle of the night. Some of those summonses, however, were delivered by soldiers in the middle of the night. By Gerard Horton Following widespread criticism of the the Israeli army’s use of night raids to arrest minors in the West Bank, in February 2014 military authorities announced a pilot program to issue minors with summonses instead. The thinking behind using summonses is that you limit the need for night raids, which generally terrify individual households and…

  • Israeli forces wound two small Palestinian children: Where's the outrage?

    Israeli security forces shoot two small Palestinian children with 'less lethal' bullets — one in the head, one in the thigh. The Israeli media barely notices. A five year old. An armed, uniformed Israeli pointed a gun at him. And shot. A kid not even old enough for first grade. I haven't seen any reports on this in English and the few I saw in Hebrew were scant and focused primarily on the incendiary, racist comments posted by Israelis on the photo of Abu Ali that went around Facebook. Things like, "too bad they didn't take him out," and, "if…

  • Permanent victims of war: Who remembers Gaza's children?

    The Israeli public’s indifference to the effects of war on Palestinian children does not result in passivity — it is an integral component of the violence Gaza’s population faces. Ali al-Awour (pictured above on the left) was a 10-year-old boy from Gaza who loved to play soccer. On June 11, 2014, Ali was riding on the back of his uncle’s motorcycle when an Israeli missile targeting his uncle, a suspected member of a militant group, struck the vehicle. He found himself on a hospital bed in intensive care for three days before dying of his wounds. Ali was the first…

  • Ban Ki-moon and the detention of Palestinian children

    The connection between settlements and the military regime that detains some 1,000 Palestinian each year is becoming harder and harder to ignore. By Gerard Horton In recent weeks some media attention has focused on whether Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon would, or would not, include Israel on the UN’s list of states responsible for violating children’s rights in armed conflict. This follows the receipt of a draft report in which Ban's special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, recommended that Israel should be listed, citing as one reason, the high proportion of children killed during last summer’s war in Gaza.…

  • Who protects Palestinian children from the police?

    Three East Jerusalem children wait for hours in an Israeli police station — their parents aren’t notified and their lawyer isn’t allowed to speak with them. The case exposes a gaping black hole in the laws regulating the treatment of minors and their representation by public defenders in Israel. By Alma Biblash and Michael Salisbury-Corech Israeli police arrested three children — 10, 11 and 13 years old — in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan last Thursday evening on suspicion of throwing stones. Undercover officers arrested them and took them to the Shalem police station, next to the Old City. [tmwinpost]…

  • My Palestinian mother was like Baltimore’s Toya Graham

    In the first Intifada, my mother recognized the need to resist but she also wanted to keep her daughter safe — so she locked the doors and hid the keys. But if we are to be consistent, shouldn't police officers' mothers be responsible for stopping brutality? Shouldn't Israeli soldiers' mothers put a stop the arrests and mistreatment of Palestinian children? By Nadia Naser-Najjab The image of Toya Graham berating her own son and pulling him away from confrontations between police and protestors in Baltimore, where police brutality has sparked violent protests, resonated so deeply for me. I had witnessed this…

  • The illusion of change in the West Bank military courts

    Positive developments in the treatment of minors by Israeli security forces are overshadowed by partial and half-hearted implementation. By Gerard Horton In March 2013, UNICEF recommended that all children detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank must be given written information about their rights, including the right to silence and prompt access to a lawyer, at the time of arrest. This followed a finding by the UN agency that the ill-treatment of children detained in the system was “widespread, systematic and institutionalized.” In response, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that it would “study [the recommendations] and work to…

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