Defense for Children International – Palestine section and the Arab human rights institution charged in a joint statement that the Israeli occupation government was escalating its arrests of Palestinian minors.

The statement pointed out that 350 Palestinian children ranging from 13 years old to 18 years old were arrested in the first quarter of 2006 while 700 children were arrested in the year 2005.

It noted that around 4,000 Palestinian minors have been arrested in the course of the current violence (over the last 5 1/2 years) that erupted in late September 2000 until the present year, with 400 of them still behind Israeli bars.

The statement charged that all children captured by Israeli troops are subjected to different types of torture, including beatings and insults at the time of arrest; then isolation, assaults, deprivation of family visits and being sprayed with gas while in captivity.

Both organizations accused the Israeli Army of interrogating and torturing children in order to force them to sign false confessions against themselves or false accusations against others, warning that such practices contravened international principles of human rights.