Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters
Soldier detaining Palestinian in West Bank
Photo: AP

UK: Israel using 'unconscionable practices' on Palestinian minors

UK media reports British government raising concerns over treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli detention; Foreign Office-backed delegation: Youngsters dragged from beds, blindfolded, bound

The British government has raised deep concerns over Israel's treatment of Palestinian minors arrested and interrogated for various crimes such as stone-throwing, the Guardian reported Tuesday.


According to the British newspaper, Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, urged Israel to address the UK's concerns and handle the matter urgently.


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Meanwhile, the British Independent recently reported that Britain's Foreign Office would be challenging Israel over the matter after a report by a delegation of senior British lawyers revealed "unconscionable practices."


According to the report, during their administrative detention, youngsters have their wrists bound behind their backs and are blindfolded. However, the legal team charged with compiling the report said that Israeli authorities offered unprecedented access to the delegation, and claimed they were in no position to prove the truth of the claims of cruelty made repeatedly by Palestinian children. 

מעצר פלסטיני במחסום חווארה בשכם. ארכיון (צילום: איי פי)

IDF soldier detaining Palestinian in Shechem (Photo: AP)


The report further suggested that Palestinians as young as 12 are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, have their wrists bound behind their backs, and are blindfolded and made to kneel or lie face down in military vehicles.


According to the legal team, children from the West Bank are held in conditions that could amount to torture, such as solitary confinement, with little or no access to their parents. They can be forced to stay awake before being verbally as well as physically abused and coerced into signing confessions they cannot read.


The British delegation's report received wide coverage in both British newspapers, however, it did not receive much attention in other British media.


Last week, Minister Burt was asked in the House of Commons about the issue of solitary confinement for Palestinian minors, and in response said that the Israeli military's practice of shackling children was wrong.


A statement given to the Guardian by the Israeli embassy in London, said that Israel appreciated the delegation's efforts "to learn about the challenges involved in dealing with minors involved in acts of militancy and violence. Regrettably, such activities continue to be encouraged by official Palestinian textbooks and television programs which glorify terrorism and suicide terrorists.


"As a result under-18 year olds are frequently involved in lethal acts … with the Palestinian Authority unable or unwilling to meet its obligation to investigate and prosecute these offences, Israel has no choice but to do so itself."





פרסום ראשון: 06.28.12, 10:38
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