RAMALLAH, June 7, 2015 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Authority’s Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs (CPA) said, in a statement Sunday, that 93 Palestinian minors are currently incarcerated in the Israeli Ofer prison near Ramallah.
It said while eight of them are serving prison sentence, the other 85 are detained on remand.
Since the beginning of this year, the report said, some 161 Palestinian minors under the age of 18 were brought to jail by the Israeli authorities, a rate of one minor every day. This includes 30 children under the age of 15 arrested in May alone.
Recently, a number of Palestinian minor prisoners arrested by Israel told the CPA they had experienced a surge of flagrant violations against them during and after detention by the Israeli authorities, including physical assault and strip searches.
Heba Masalha, an attorney with the Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs Committee, who was allowed to visit minor prisoners in Israeli jails, gained the testimony of four minor prisoners, who indicated a relentless disregard of their basic human rights.
In the prisoners’ testimonies, the violations included physical assault, eye-folding, hand-cuffing, strip-searches, beating among others.
A previous report which was also published on January 19, also indicated that Palestinian minor prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails were routinely subjected to physical torture during their arrest and interrogation as well as in detention.
“By the end of January 2014, it was reported that a total of 183 Palestinian children were prosecuted and detained in the Israeli court system, a rise of 18.8% over the month. The figure includes twenty children between the ages of 14 and 15,” reported the Middle East Monitor in a story.
“Around 500 – 700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system each year. The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones. No Israeli children come into contact with the military court system,” said Defense for Children International (DCI).
With more than 200 minor prisoners currently incarcerated in Israeli jails, Israel is the only state to automatically and systematically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic standards of due process.