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  • There's no beautifying Israel's treatment of Palestinian children

    The central problem at the heart of Israel's half-century old military court system is clear: these courts will never reflect the interests of the defendants, but rather that of the regime of occupation. By Sarit Michaeli Israeli occupation apologists masquerading as protectors of Palestinian children in military detention? Few displays of alternative facts should shock us these days, but somehow an upcoming event by the Israeli right-wing group NGO Monitor’s at the UN Palais De Nations in Geneva comes close. Under the Orwellian title "Protecting Children: The realities of Israeli Military Juvenile Justice in a Terror Environment," the event planned for…

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  • The forced transfer of Palestinian detainees — why it matters

    International law is clear that prisoners should not be transferred outside of an occupied territory — both to allow their families access to them and to prevent forced population transfer. But that's not all that's at stake. By Gerard Horton Palestinian children detained in the Israeli military detention system should be held in facilities located in Palestine, as opposed to Israel, in accordance with international law, UNICEF recommended in its 2013 report, Children in Israeli Military Detention (2013). The latest figures released by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) indicate that since UNICEF made this recommendation the percentage of Palestinian children…

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  • Business as usual for children arrested by the IDF

    Despite lofty promises and pilot programs aimed at improvement, evidence points to little change in the patterns of abuse Palestinian children are subjected to when arrested by the Israeli army. By Gerard Horton The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in March 2013 that it would study the conclusions of a UNICEF report on children held in military detention which found that ill-treatment appeared to be “widespread, systematic and institutionalized” and work to implement them through “ongoing cooperation” with the UN agency. Two-and-a-half years on and around 2,250 arrests later, there is new evidence as to how this “cooperation” is…

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  • 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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  • There's no nice way of building settlements in occupied territory

    Those familiar with the system know that as long as settlement construction continues, the abuse and intimidation of the Palestinian civilian population will be maintained. By Gerard Horton UNICEF, the UN body tasked with providing humanitarian aid to children in developing countries, recently issued an update on the progress made regarding the treatment of minors held in Israeli military detention. In its 2013 report, Children in Israeli Military Detention, UNICEF reviewed over 400 sworn testimonies collected from minors who came in contact with Israel's military system, and concluded that ill-treatment “appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process,”…

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  • Surviving winter after surviving ISIS: A testimony by a Yazidi refugee

    Since the beginning of August, an estimated 350,000 Yazidi internally displaced persons (IDP) have been living in villages, towns and various refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria and Turkey. While most of those who found refuge have taken shelter in local school classrooms, construction sites or under bridges, the IDPs who have been placed in refugee camps were housed in tents, some of which were provided by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Last week, as the first rains hit Iraqi Kurdistan, the Yazidi refugee camps quickly became mud traps. Should refugees not be put in caravans, these camps could…

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  • 'Despite reforms, IDF still mistreating Palestinian children'

    Nearly two years after Israel said it would work to improve its treatment of the Palestinian children it detains, there have been a few small positive developments. But ill-treatment of Palestinian minors still appears to be ‘widespread, systematic and institutionalized,' a report by Military Court Watch says. By Gerard Horton In September 2011, a delegation of nine lawyers from the UK, including a former attorney general and Court of Appeal judge, visited Israel-Palestine to investigate the treatment of children in Israel’s military judicial system. The resulting report – Children in Military Custody – published in June 2012, found that Israel’s military detention…

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  • +972's Editor's Picks of 2013

    As 2013 comes to a close, +972 Magazine's editors and bloggers took time to look back at the year that was, and share the articles that most resonated with them - in no particular order. 'They're all named Mohammad nowadays' In one of the most heartfelt posts of the year, Mya Guarnieri describes the difficulties of confronting discrimination, identity politics and occupation while searching for an apartment in Bethlehem. Read the article here. 'I am pro-Israel too': Reflections on +972's use of the term When some +972 writers used ‘pro-Israel’ to negatively describe right-wing politicians and activists, Dahlia Scheindlin stood up,…

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  • Data shows worsening situation for children in Israeli military detention

    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…

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  • UNICEF reportedly tones down report on child detainees in wake of Israeli pressure

    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…

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