via the Alternative Information Center, Beit Sahour.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association has released a report entitled, “In the Shadow of the 2014 Gaza War: Imprisonment of Jerusalem’s Children.”

The report details unjust and illegal imprisonment of children at the hands of the Israeli authorities in occupied Jerusalem. Addameer represented at least 246 of these children and secured documented affidavits from the affected children, community activists, lawyers and staff members to shed light on Israeli violations of Palestinian children’s rights.

A significant part of Addameer’s report unpacks the Israeli Youth Law, which stipulates: “children should be summoned rather than arrested,” and that rehabilitation, rather than prosecution, is the primary objective when dealing with youth. However, the 246 child detainees that Addameer represented clearly demonstrate that this rule is not applied to Palestinian children.

Arrests of Palestinian children are routinely brutal and unnecessarily violent in nature. As one of Addameer’s child interviewees detailed in his affidavit, “[during my arrest] one of the soldiers choked me…and the rest focused on beating my head, kicking my legs and stomach, and punching my face. The soldiers were cursing me while beating me.”

Israeli authorities also routinely violate international law when detaining children, namely the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Israel in 1991. The paramount principle of the CRC is that the “best interests of the child shall be the primary consideration.” As the report details, actions such as isolating child detainees, restricting visits from family and lawyers, and inflicting torture practices on them are not in the best interest of any child.

Despite this blatant discrepancy, Israeli authorities continue to arrest and detain countless Palestinian children, often traumatizing them, their families and their communities in the process. As the Addameer report explains: “When Israel arrests a child, the harms of this action ripple outward to envelop the entire family, and serve as a warning to the wider community.”

Addameer condemns the actions of the Israeli authorities, particularly regarding child detainees, as “cruel, damaging, consciously employed and illegal.”

To read the full report from Addameer, click here: