A new report by the Israeli Association for Civil Rights claims that tensions are on the rise between Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and Israeli security forces. The report accuses Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem of detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children as well as failing to uphold the security of Palestinian residents.
The report states that around 1,200 Palestinian children were questioned regards throwing stones in the past 18 months. The children are often taken from their bed at night and roughly questioned by Israeli interrogators in the absence of their parents or lawyers, the report claims.
‘The large gap between the number of kids who were questioned and arrested, and the number of charges pressed, reinforces the Arab residents’ feeling that most of these arrests and inquiries are meant to instill fear in the minors, collect information from them and stop them from repeating the acts they are suspected of committing,’ the report read.
The report echoed sentiments often expressed by Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem and the West Bank that the police do not take seriously any complaint filed by a Palestinian against an Israeli. In contrast, the full measure of the law is brought to bear on Palestinians suspected of offence against an Israeli.
‘We have testimonies that show that the police ignore complaints filed by Arabs about harm done to their property, body or safety,’ the report reads.
Mass targeting of Palestinian residents is common, according to the research, including the general and excessive use of tear gas against whole neighbourhoods and disproportionate targeting of Palestinians for parking and traffic tickets.
The findings of the report echo the story of seven year old Silwan resident Ali Siyam who was recently arrested by Israeli security forces sustaining cuts and bruises in the process and interrogated for hours in the absence of his parents or lawyer. Both his Aunt and Father were hospitalized due to injuries they received from security personnel when trying to intervene.