Human Lives Human Rights: The Palestinian Prisoners Society said in its annual report on the occasion of Palestinian Children’s Day on April 5 that the Israeli government has detained more than 9,000 Palestinian children since 2015.
According to the Palestine Chronicle, the report says that since the Second Intifada in September 2000, over 19,000 Palestinian children, including children under the age of 10, have been detained.
The Palestinian Prisoners Society also stated that more than 140 Palestinian children under the age of 18 are being held in Israeli jails and that more than 230 people are being detained and interrogated inhumanely.
According to the Palestinian Authority, the testimonies provided by the detained young children show that they were subjected to some form of ill-treatment, physical or mental torture by Zionist interrogators, who use a wide range of mechanisms and methods to violate the rules of international conventions on the rights of the child.
The number of Palestinian children detained at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces since 1967 exceeded 50,000, Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees’ Affairs member Abdul-Nasser Farawna said.
Farawna revealed that 1,300 Palestinian children were detained over the past year, an increase of 140% from 2020. He also said the Israeli occupation forces detained more than 200 children since the start of 2022, 160 of which are still in custody.
Current actions of the Israeli government regarding the widespread and unregulated detention of Palestinian children is not in line with international humanitarian law.
The right to life and the right to housing of Palestinian children are the most important individual rights that the Convention on the Rights of the Child specifically addresses in relation to children. For example, Article 6 of the Convention explicitly states that:
- States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
- States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
It should be noted that Israel signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child on July 3, 1990 and ratified it on October 3, 1991.
Article 16 of the Convention States:
1. No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honor and reputation.
2. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Now, given the explicitness of the above documents and the fact that Israel is a member of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the question is, what is the Israel’s response to them?
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
Article 17 of the Covenant also makes it clear that:
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation’ and that ‘everyone has the right to protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 10 of the Human Rights Act
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression
Although the above-mentioned treaties generally address the serious issue of freedom of expression, the Convention on the Rights of the Child specifically addresses the freedom of expression and opinion of children, and Article 12 of the Convention states that:
- States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child……
- For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child……..
Palestinian children often use rallies and demonstrations to express their views, which are often attacked by Israeli forces.
It is noteworthy that while Palestinian children are facing such a situation, the Israeli regime has acceded to treaties such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Covenant on Civil Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in all these treaties, freedom of expression and the means of its implementation are explicitly recognized.
On the other hand, despite the clear and unambiguous provisions of Articles 19, 37, 39 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the personal safety or immunity of children, given that the Convention is one of the most important human rights documents in the field of child rights, and these conventions must be observed in all conditions of time and place, including war, peace and occupation, unfortunately, according to legal and international reports and media reports, observance of the rights of Palestinian children, regarding the cases under discussion (with respect to international conventions), not only is it in a state of ambiguity, but their violation by Israel has been repeatedly observed.
Zionist regime should issue military orders to legitimize and justify the detention of Palestinian children under the pretext of their detention, because according to such orders, the arrest and extension of the detention of Palestinian children would be considered as legal.
According to Palestinian sources, the Israeli government even allows the detention of children between the ages of 12 and 14. Little attention has been paid to this thing, indicating that the number of arrests of Palestinian children has increased since 1998. The number of Palestinian children detained between 1998 and 2000 was 89, 202 and 330, respectively.
The outcome is that because of the explicit wording of Article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a party, the child is any person under the age of 18 years. It is clear that the Zionist regime, from the detention of Palestinian children to other ill treatments, the regime has committed violations of international conventions.
Article 7 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Despite the fact that Israel has acceded to these treaties and Article 32 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which explicitly prohibits the occupier from torturing residents of the occupied territories, a report says that 80% of Palestinian children detained in 2003 were subjected to various forms of torture.