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Israel detained 57 Palestinian minors in May, committee says

June 8, 2017 2:28 P.M. (Updated: June 8, 2017 5:18 P.M.)
(File)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli courts have imposed fines on dozens of Palestinian minors detained in Ofer prison worth a cumulative 38,000 shekels ($10,740) during the month of May alone, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said on Thursday.

It said that 57 Palestinians under the age of 18 were detained in May and transferred to Ofer, making an average fine of $188 per prisoner -- a significant sum given the high levels of unemployment and poverty in the occupied Palestinian territory, where the official monthly minimum wage is 1,450 shekels ($410).

The committee accused Israel of “stealing Palestinian money” by imposing excessive fines on prisoners, claiming that the fines were used to finance the Israeli military and incarceration systems levied against Palestinians.

Of the 57 children, 18 have so far been sentenced to prison time, with sentences ranging between 13 days and five months, adding that four of them were shot by Israeli forces when they were detained, while 21 said they were violently beaten and assaulted during their detention.

The committee said that 23 of the minors were detained during house raids, 30 were detained off the street, two at Israeli military checkpoints, and two others after being summoned for interrogation.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, as of May, there were 6,200 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons, 300 of whom were minors.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Ministry of Information estimated that some 12,000 Palestinian children have been detained by Israel since 2000, adding that the overwhelming majority of them were beaten or tortured while in Israeli custody, handcuffed, blindfolded, and forced to confess to charges in the absence of a lawyer or guardian.

The PA estimated that while 700 children were detained by Israeli forces each year on average across the occupied Palestinian territory, some 2,000 children had been detained since October 2015 over claims of “disrupting public order” by committing acts such as throwing rocks.
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