Child Detention by Israel
This number was particularly effected by the events in the last quarter of the year. Addameer’s documentation showed that each year around 500 - 700 Palestinian children get arrested. However, these statistics do not reflect the whole situation of the comprehensive framework of the excessive arrests carried out around the occupied Palestinian territories. Many arrests were not officially documented, as Palestinians were arrested and interrogated for a few hours before their conditional or unconditional release.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Israel on 3 October 1991, states in article 37 that “No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The article also states that “No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily” and that detention, imprisonment or arrest should be used only as a last resort.
*UN General Assembly, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 November 1989, United Nations
Detainment, Interrogation and Sentencing for Children in East Jerusalem
Based on the collection of information by Addameer’s dedicated lawyer, additional documentation staff, and the consultation of additional resources, patterns and trends have become clear in regard to the detainment of Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. It is safe to say that the average experience of a Jerusalemite child under arrest is one of humiliation, intimidation, and the denial of their basic rights.
Children are either arrested from their homes, in the early hours of the morning, or from the street in the afternoon. Then they are either taken to the interrogation facility in the Russian Compound, known as al-Mascobiyya, or they are taken to a police station in Jerusalem.
A.Z, a 17-year-old child from al-Issawiya, who has been arrested 6 different times since he was 14, recalls his latest arrest in 2017. He said that “soldiers broke into our home at 4:00 am, they searched the home, handcuffed me and carried me to the jeep, which then drove me to al-Mascobiyya.”
A.H. recalls that during her arrest, “one of them [the police] hit me on my chest; the blow caused internal bleeding.” She was later denied adequate medical treatment for her injuries, with prison guards giving her medicine in the water without her knowledge.
Interrogations often begin without parents being aware of their child’s whereabouts and, occasionally, even that they have been arrested. These interrogation sessions are conducted without a parent, guardian, or attorney being present, leaving the children completely in the hands of their arrestor. Interrogations can last for hours, and, contrary to domestic and international legislation, involve physical and psychological abuse. The most common abuses
observed in the cases documented were slapping, and verbal threats to the child or their family members