Number of Palestinian Children in Israeli Jails ‘Surpasses 250’

Ramallah, June 24 (QNA) -The number of Palestinian children in Israeli jails has surpassed 250 in the wake of the ongoing military search campaign in the West Bank, a Palestinian Authority lawyer said Tuesday.

“Israel is violating international children’s rights agreements by detaining Palestinian minors, and it is trying to cover up these violations with the story of the three missing settlers,” Hiba Masalha said in a statement, quoted by the Palestinian news agency Maan.

The Israeli army launched a massive military campaign in the West Bank following the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers from the Gush Etzion settlement on June 12. Israeli forces have arrested hundreds of Palestinians and killed five throughout the search for the teens, who Israel alleges were kidnapped by Hamas.

“Detaining Palestinian children from their houses in the middle of the night without informing their parents and families of the reasons for their detention is kidnapping,” Masalha added.

The statement said Palestinian children are often subjected to violence upon being arrested and interrogated in Israeli prisons.

According to a 2013 report by the UN’s Children’s Fund, Israel is the only country in the world where children are systematically tried in military courts and subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.”
Over the past decade, Israeli forces have arrested, interrogated, and prosecuted around 7,000 children between 12 and 17, mostly boys, at a rate of “an average of two children each day,” UNICEF said.(QNA)

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