Relief Web
June 27, 2008 - 4:20pm

On the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, DCI/PS releases further evidence that Israeli military forces in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) continue to abuse, threaten and torture Palestinian children.

Today, DCI/PS is releasing two case studies to draw attention to the continuing plight of Palestinian children, in particular, the 700 Palestinian children who are arrested, interrogated and often abused by the Israeli military and police each year.

In one case, Israeli interrogators beat 15-year-old Ibrahim S. over the course of several hours. Ibrahim was then threatened with sexual assault for the purpose of extracting his confession. The accusation, which Ibrahim kept denying, was that he had thrown stones at the Israeli army when it invaded his village the day before. A Military Court accepted Ibrahim’s confession and he was imprisoned in Israel for five months.

In the second case, 14-year-old Mohammad E. was standing with a group of friends near the Wall which passes close to his village near Ramallah. Mohammad was suddenly grabbed by four men in plain clothes who proceeded to hit him about the head with the butts of their guns whilst spraying his face with tear gas. Bleeding from wounds sustained during his arrest Mohammad was coerced into signing papers written in Hebrew in which he confessed to throwing stones at the Wall. An Israeli Military Court accepted this confession and sentenced Mohammad to four and-a-half months’ imprisonment.

‘Palestinian children like Mohammad and Ibrahim are routinely exposed to physical and psychological abuse, amounting to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, and sometimes torture during arrest, interrogation and imprisonment,’ said George Abu Al Zulof, DCI/PS General Director. ‘Unfortunately, these cases are not isolated incidents as Palestinian children are systematically subjected to such abuses by the Israeli military authorities’, he said.

Israel is a signatory to a number of international conventions, including the UN Convention against Torture which strictly prohibits the use of torture and abuse in all circumstances. In 1999, the Israeli High Court responded to mounting pressure to deal with the increasing number of allegations of torture and agreed that an interrogation must be free of torture and any degrading treatment whatsoever, and that these prohibitions are absolute, without exception.

DCI/PS is deeply concerned that the Israeli army and police are continuing to act above the law in the oPt and those who commit these acts of torture and abuse appear to do so with complete immunity, whilst the international community, well aware of the situation, turns a blind eye.

‘We urge the international community to take effective action now. Israel must ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on Torture, treat torture as a crime and prosecute and punish those guilty of it’, concluded, George Abu Al Zulof.


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