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Palestinian children systematically beaten in Israeli detention

Aug. 11, 2018 4:43 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 14, 2018 5:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Prisoners and Former Prisoners' Affairs Committee published on Saturday documentation of testimonies by a number of Palestinian children during their detention by Israeli forces.

The documentations revealed that the children were subjected to systematic beatings and torture during and after their detention.

The committee's lawyer, Hiba Ighbarieh, said that three Palestinian children, who are currently held at Meggido Israeli prison, talked about what they underwent during and after their detention.

The first testimony was by 16-year-old, Munir Dari, from the Issawiyeh neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, who told Ighbarieh that while being detained, he was assaulted by several Israeli soldiers.

Dari said he was subjected to beating and cursing while at the Russian Compound detention center in western Jerusalem, in an attempt to force him to confess to the charges pressed against him.

The second testimony, by Fahd Qeisieh, 17, also from Issawiyeh, revealed that he was beaten following clashes with Israeli forces; he said that an Israeli policeman "tackled him and dragged him to a police car where another officer stepped on his back, while two others were violently beating him as he was laying on the ground."

Qeisieh said that the beating continued at the Russian Compound detention center where he was hit with a stick on his face, hands, legs and back while he was forced to kneel.

Firas Masri, 17, was detained at an Israeli military checkpoint in the northern West Bank district of Qalandiya, where he was severely beaten by several Israeli soldiers.

Masri was thrown on a ground covered with gravel, beaten on his head and back giving him injuries and bruises; he was also verbally abused; he was then blindfolded, handcuffed and dragged on the ground for a long distance before being thrown into an Israeli military vehicle.

Defense for Children International reported that "Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees."

DCI also reported that since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been detained and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system infamous for the systematic mistreatment and torture of Palestinian children.

The majority of Palestinian children are detained from their homes in the occupied West Bank during predawn raids by heavily armed Israeli soldiers.

Following their detention, children arrive at an interrogation center without an adult present, sleep deprived and often beaten. Israeli interrogations consist of physical and verbal abuse, forcing the children to confess to any crime Israel charges them with.

Most of the detained Palestinian children are charged with stone throwing.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, there are 270 Palestinian child prisoners being held in Israeli prisons, of whom 50 are under the age of 16.

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