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Palestine: UNICEF: Israeli violations against detained Palestinian children ongoing

16th Oct 2013

IMEMC & Agencies: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported that Israeli violations against detained Palestinian children are still ongoing, despite an alleged Israeli decision to improve their conditions, and the methods of interrogation.

File - Children Detained By Israeli Soldiers - Paltoday

[File photo: Children Detained By Israeli Soldiers - Paltoday]

It said that Tel Aviv took steps to address some of the issues of concern outlined in a report that was released back in March of this year.
The March report indicated that detained Palestinian children face systematic mistreatment.
The UNICEF said that despite its earlier report violations against detained children are still ongoing, despite the 38 recommendations that outlined these violations and the manner to address them.
The report hoped that Israel would improve the ill treatment of children, and start treating the children within international standards.
It said that Tel Aviv is “testing some of the reformed measures” used to deal with detained children.
This includes trying to summon children for integration instead of raiding their homes late at night, especially since night invasions include violence and loud noises that can traumatize the children, and their families.
The UNICEF said that heavily armed soldiers would violently break into homes, before they force the children out of their beds, and take them to interrogation facilities, cuffed, blindfolded, and in a state of extreme fear.
It said that Israeli interrogators would question the children about allegations of throwing stones at soldiers and settlers, and that the interrogators would threaten the children with physical violence, death, in addition to sexual assault threats not only against the children, but also against a family member.
The second issue that Israel appears to have complied with, according to the report, is reducing the time detained children are imprisoned before they are sent to a military court for the first time.
Israel now allegedly detains children, aged 12-13, for 24 hours instead of four days, while children 14-15 years of age are now detained for two days before being sent to court comparing to four days as per previous measures. Yet, Israel did not change detention measures for children aged 16 -17.
The UNICEF said that Israel conducted 19 violations against detained Palestinian children in the second quarter of 2013. It added that in all documented cases, detained children were subject to physical violence, including beating, kicking and slapping.
Seventeen more violations were recorded in the same period, those violations did not include any reported physical violence, but the children were verbally abused.
The UNICEF stated that it is working closely with the Israeli Prosecutor General to ensure the implementation of the 38 recommendation, mentioned in the March report, in order to improve the protection of children in accordance with international standards.
It said that some of these recommendations included preventing the soldiers form blindfolding detained children, strip search, torture, and solitary confinement.
The UNICEF further stated that children should never be taking prisoner at night, unless under very urgent conditions, and stressed that a lawyer or a family member must be present during interrogation, and that the interrogation must be videotaped.
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, interrogated and prosecuted more than 7000 Palestinian children over the last ten years.
The UNICEF reported that Israel kidnaps nearly 700 Palestinian children, aged 12 – 17, mostly males, each year.

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