Since the year 2000, more than 10,000 Palestinian children have been detained. Over 180 Palestinian children are currently imprisoned.
At the end of December 2013, a total of 154 Palestinian children were imprisoned and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system, including 14 children between the ages of 14 and 15. Three in four Palestinian children detained in 2013 by the Israeli military in occupied Palestine endured physical violence during arrest and interrogation.
The annual monthly average of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention during 2013 was 199, the highest since 2010.
There is a sharp increase in night arrests between midnight and 5 am. In over 20 percent of cases, Israeli military, police and security agents held children in solitary confinement for an average of 10 days for interrogation purposes.
Israel is the only state to automatically and systematically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic standards of due process. Around 500 to 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.
Children arrive to Israeli interrogation centers blindfolded, bound and sleep deprived. Unlike their Israeli counterparts, Palestinian children have no right to be accompanied by a parent during an interrogation. According to Defence Children International-Palestine, very often children were questioned alone and rarely informed of their rights, particularly their right against self-incrimination.
The interrogation techniques are generally mentally and physically coercive, frequently incorporating a mix of intimidation, threats and physical violence with a clear purpose of obtaining a confession. In more than one in five of the 2013 cases, children signed statements in Hebrew, a language they do not understand.
Recent amendments to Israeli military laws concerning children have had little to no impact on their treatment during the critical 24 – 48 hours after an arrest, where most of the ill-treatment occurs at the hands of soldiers, policemen and interrogators.
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