Israeli forces have so far, on Monday, kidnapped at least eight Palestinians from towns and cities across the West Bank, while summoned others and raided homes of families. Israeli authorities also continue to detain Palestinian eighth grader, Malak al-Khatib, age 14, for the 19th consecutive day in Hasharon prison.Soldiers carried out a predawn arrest campaign, upon which they detained two brothers from the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, according to WAFA correspondence.
Security sources reported that the two brothers were identified as Walid, age 27, and Wael Salah, 24.
Israeli forces raided their home and inspected its content prior to the arrest.
Meanwhile, just north of Hebron, Israeli forces abducted a student from the town of Surif.
Local sources identified the student as 23-year-old Abed Arraouf Ghnimat. He was detained following a raid which targeted the family home.
Israeli troops also raided the town of Ithna, west of Hebron, setting a number of flying checkpoints at entrances to the town.
The heavy presence of the army caused unrest as soldiers fired smoke canisters, causing many peaceful residents and commuters to suffocate.
In another incident, Israeli forces chased after one youth from the city of Hebron, identified as Muhammad Kafrawi, age 21, who was admitted to a hospital to receive immediate care, following the incident.
Meanwhile, another unknown youngster was summoned to Israeli intelligence for interrogation.
In Jerusalem, Israeli police detained, late Sunday and early Monday,at least three youngsters at from Sourbaher, southeast of the old occupied city. They were all led to an interrogation center.
WAFA reported witnesses accounts that the youth were identified as Mohammad and Ahmad Amira and Abdullah Abu Kaf.
Several other abdcutions were also reported, however, specific details are unknown at the time of this report.
Furthermore, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli forces arrested an instructor at An-Najah National University, Walid Abu Zeina, who was detained while present at his residence in Nablus.
The arrest campaign also targeted a journalist in Ramallah who works as an editor for the online news website “Huna al-Quds”.
The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate denounced the arrest of journalist Mujahed Bani Falah, following the raid on his house in the town of Betunya, west of Ramallah.
The Syndicate has called on all legal institutions, locally and internationally, to expose the Israeli policies and measures against Palestinian journalists.
It also called for pressure to release all journalists which Israel still holds in its prisons.
In related news, WAFA further reports that Israeli authorities continue to detain Palestinian eighth grader, Malak al-Khatib, 14, for the 19th consecutive day in the Israeli prison ‘Hasharon’, according to PPS.
Al-Khatib was taken by Israeli forces near her school in the Ramallah village of Beitin, on December 31, 2014, for allegedly throwing rocks at them.
A military decision was supposed to be made on January 4th, however, the Ofer military court postponed her hearing to January 11, and no decision has been reached so far.
Malak’s family wasn’t able to visit her at the detention center, but only saw her at the court on Sunday January 4th, during a court hearing. Her father said that she looked distressed and scared. “After all she is only 14,” he explained.
According to UNICEF, “All children prosecuted for offences they allegedly committed should be treated in accordance with international juvenile justice standards, which provide them with special protection. Most of these protections are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
It should be noted that, “Israeli military law technically applies to all those present in the West Bank, including Israeli settler children, however the latter are invariably processed under Israel’s civilian legal system, which contains far greater safeguards and protections,” according to Defense for Children International.
On September 29, 2009, a military juvenile court was established, following mounting criticism that the Israeli military had been prosecuting children as young as 12 years in adult military courts for over four decades.
However: “The new order makes no change to the time period during which a child can be denied access to a lawyer, which remains at 90 days for both adults and children.”
On August 1, 2012, military order 1685 came into effect. The new order reduces the time within which children detained by the Israeli military must be brought before a military court judge for the first time.
The organizations stated that “The critical period for Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military is the first 48 hours after arrest. It is during this period that most cases of physical and psychological abuse occur and the child is interrogated without the benefit of legal advice or the presence of a parent. The amendment which now requires children be brought before a military court judge within 96 hours of arrest adds no additional protection.”
B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, said that, “From the beginning of 2005 to the end of 2010, at least 835 Palestinian minors were arrested and tried in military courts in the West Bank on charges of stone throwing. Thirty-four of them were aged 12 – 13, 255 were 14 – 15, 546 were between the ages of 16 – 17. Only one of the 835 was acquitted; all the rest were found guilty.”
The center said in a report titled, ‘No Minor Matter’ that “The rights of Palestinian minors are flagrantly violated at every stage of the proceedings conducted against them, from the initial arrest and removal from their homes, through interrogation and trial, to serving the prison sentence, and then release […]. The amendments to the military legislation are marginal and have failed to bring about meaningful change in the military system’s treatment of minors.”