Additional reports of intense suffering are coming from Israel’s Telmond Prison where several Palestinian children are imprisoned in Department Seven.
In a interview with PNN, one of the children reported, “Most of the time we do not find food to eat. We try to buy our own food from the Cantina in the prison; that is where most of our money goes as the prison administration does not give us adequate quantity or quality of food. We are almost always hungry.”
Hussam Al Taeh, a child from Nablus City, who is imprisoned as per the Israeli Salem Military Court having been charged with possession of a gun, told PNN Tuesday, “We do not find in our department the food because of the lag in provisions for us to buy in the Cantina for two days at a time.
We sleep and are hunger. The prison administration also does allow senior political prisoners to help us arrange our internal matters, which adds to the chaos and propagation of our suffering.”
The Defense for Children International’s Palestine branch reports that since the beginning of 2006, Israeli forces imprisoned at least 230 Palestinian children.
A majority of the Israeli arrests of Palestinian children took place in the West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin, and in the southern Bethlehem region.
Now the number of imprisoned children is approximately 400. The Israeli government is working in direct contravention to international human rights charters, despite continuing to assert it is following international law.
DCI lawyer, Khaled Qzmar, said Tuesday, “Through lawyer visits to children in the prisons it is clear the intense amount of suffering they are enduring simply by looking into their eyes. They are in interrogation centers inside Israeli settlements in the West Bank, lying on floors. They are abused in the Israeli military vehicles during transport, and their human and children’s rights are severely impeded.”
Upon being taken from their homes, the children are directly put in interrogation centers where Israelis begin immediately interrogating them, beating them, while attempting to intimidate and threaten them into admitting to things they have or have not done. This is often the only type of “trial” they are afforded. In the meantime, after the interrogation, the children are placed in overcrowded cells, awaiting what will be considered their official trial. Information against them is unavailable to either the accused or their lawyers.
Lawyer Khaled Qzmar point out that “in spite of the confirmation of international criteria that the imprisonment of a child is a last resort and must be for the shortest period of time possible, the number of children released on bail is very low.”
The detention centers, or children’s prisons, are classified as temporary, but most spend six months at the least while their simplest human rights are violated. They do not have adequate food, family visits, or suitable health care.”
Defense for Children International’s Palestine branch expressed grave concern over the Israeli violations of Palestinian children, and is calling upon the Israeli government to cease its policy of targeting and detaining Palestinian children as it is against international law and human rights. They are calling for the release of all Palestinian children as it is an illegal and inhumane procedure.