Palestinian Liberation Organization says Israel arrests 1,899 Palestinian minors
The Israeli authorities have arrested 1,899 children since the beginning of an ongoing Palestinian uprising that began last October, the Palestinian Liberation Organization's detainees committee said Tuesday.
In a statement released on the occasion of Palestinian Child's Day, the committee noted that the detained minors had been picked up by the Israeli army in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
According to the committee, the number of detained Palestinian children account for approximately 37 percent of the overall number of Palestinians arrested by Israel over the past six months.
Total arrests, the committee noted, had increased by a whopping 338 percent compared to the same period last year.
According to committee figures, at least 450 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 18 -- including 16 girls -- currently languish in Israeli jails.
The committee went on to note that, during the arrest, the detained children were often exposed to at least one form of physical or psychological abuse.
Overall, more than 7,000 Palestinians are currently being held in prisons throughout Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs.
An annual UNICEF report titled "Children in Israeli Military Detention Observations and Recommendations," released in March 2015, outlines that the treatment of Israel towards Palestinian children is a "violation of international law."
The report and UNICEF's Working Group on Grave Violations against Children pointed out that children had often been subjected to multiple violations throughout the arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention phases.
The report found that 162 children were blindfolded during the transfer process from the place of arrest to the police station, 189 children were being painfully handcuffed during arrests, while 89 children were transferred on the floor of the vehicle from the place that they were arrested to the police station.
Israel passed a new legislation on November 2015, that sentences Palestinian stone-throwers to a minimum sentence of three years, meaning convicted minors could also face punishment.
According to the legislation, Palestinians charged with throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, civilians or vehicles will be given a three year minimum sentence and a maximum sentence of 15 years of imprisonment.