“Israel government ‘tortures’ Palestinian children by keeping them in cages, human rights group says”

“An Israeli human rights organisation has accused the government of torturing Palestinian children after it emerged some were kept in outdoor cages during winter.

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) published a report which claimed children suspected of minor crimes were subjected to “public caging”, threats and acts of sexual violence and military trials without representation.

It came as the government’s Public Petitions Committee held a hearing to discuss the issue, which the PCATI said must be addressed with a change to the law.

The country’s Public Defender’s Office (PDO) recently released details of one particularly shocking visit by its lawyers to a detention facility.

“During our visit, held during a fierce storm that hit the state, attorneys met detainees who described to them a shocking picture: in the middle of the night dozens of detainees were transferred to the external iron cages built outside the IPS transition facility in Ramla,” the PDO wrote on its website.

“It turns out that this procedure, under which prisoners waited outside in cages, lasted for several months, and was verified by other officials.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called for the practice of keeping children in cages to be stopped as soon as she learned of it, and the prison service issued a statement saying the situation had been improved following the “criticism”.

The PCATI said this was not enough, and called for the country’s relatively high threshold for what can be classed “acts of abuse” to be lowered in the case of children.

Their report argued: “Torture is a means of attacking an individual’s fundamental modes of psychological and social functioning” as described in the Istanbul Protocol. Furthermore, “torture can impact a child directly or indirectly. The impact can be due to the child’s having been tortured or detained, the torture of parents or close family members or witnessing torture and violence.”

It said the incident in Ramla was just one example of a broad range of abuses being suffered.

Yesterday the Knesset committee said Israeli law as it currently exists was being violated by the manner of arrest and detention conditions of Palestinian children, the Post reported.

The committee also took issue with the fact that the government appeared not to keep records of the frequency or scope of disputed practices like midnight arrests.

The PCATI quoted figures from the campaign group Defence for Children International’s Palestine section, saying: “The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones, and 74 per cent experience physical violence during arrest, transfer or interrogation.”

It said Israel was the only country to systematically prosecute children in its military courts, and added that “no Israeli children come into contact with the military court system”.




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8 responses to ““Israel government ‘tortures’ Palestinian children by keeping them in cages, human rights group says”

  1. Christopher Proudlove

    Thank goodness that Israel has a free press to report matters like this. This is not the case with Fatah in the Palestinian Authority area or Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Arab journalists cannot expose similar matters in these two areas because of intimidation, even death threats, by the jihadists.
    This is what Israeli media are reporting today: Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, emphasised his country’s desire for peace when he met US Secretary of State John Kerry on his latest mission to the Holy Land.
    Netanyahu told him: “I want to use this opportunity to express once again my personal appreciation and the appreciation of the people of Israel for your unremitting personal efforts to advance peace between us and the Palestinians. I know that you are committed to peace; I know that I am committed to peace; but, unfortunately, given the actions and words of Palestinian leaders, there’s growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace.
    “A few days ago in Ramallah, President Abbas embraced terrorists as heroes. To glorify the murderers of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage. How can President Abbas say that he stands against terrorism when he embraces the perpetrators of terrorism and glorifies them as heroes? He can’t stand against terrorists and stand with the terrorists. And I’m wondering what a young Palestinian would think when he sees the leader of the Palestinian people embrace people who axed innocent men and women, axed their heads or blew them up or riddled them with bullets. What’s a young Palestinian supposed to think about the future? What’s he supposed to think about what he should do vis-à-vis Israelis and vis-à-vis the State of Israel?
    “So it’s not surprising that in recent weeks Israel has been subjected to a growing wave of terrorist attacks. President Abbas didn’t see fit to condemn these attacks even after we learned that at least in one case, I stress at least in one case, those who served and are serving in the Palestinian security forces took part in them. In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the State of Israel. This Palestinian government incitement is rampant. You see it in the state-controlled media, the government-controlled media, in the schools, in text books, in kindergartens. You see it in every part of Palestinian society. So instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel.
    “This is not the way to achieve peace. President Abbas must lead his people away from terror and incitement towards reconciliation and peace.
    “John, the people of Israel and I are prepared to make such an historic peace. But we must have a Palestinian partner who’s equally prepared to make this peace. Peace means ending incitement; it means fighting terrorism and condemning terrorism; it means recognising Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people; it means meeting Israel’s security needs; and it means being prepared to truly end the conflict once and for all.
    “If we are to succeed in our joint effort, President Abbas must reject terror and embrace peace. I hope he doesn’t miss, again, the opportunity to give Israelis and Palestinians a better future.
    “Mr. Secretary, John, I look forward to continuing our discussions. I hope that together we can forge a way to a genuine and lasting peace, a secure peace. Because the only peace that will endure in the Middle East as it really is, is a peace that Israel can defend.
    I am determined, above all else, to defend my people and my state, and I will never compromise on the security of Israel and its citizens and on the vital interests that protect our future.
    I think you know, John, more than most, how important it is to ensure the security of Israel. And I hope that despite the shifting sands in the Middle East, together we can build a rock solid foundation for security and for a secure peace. That’s the job we’re going to do in the coming days and weeks.”

  2. Christopher Proudlove

    THERE would be fewer detentions of Palestinian Arab children if their peers, parents and communities did not encourage them to indulge in potentially lethal actions such as throwing rocks and stones. In FRONTPAGE.COM, under the headline ‘Palestinian Terror Education: Funded by U.S. Taxpayers,’ David Bedien confronts the problem. The headline could have included the fact that the U.K. and the European Union also add to the fund. The article states:
    “UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, shapes the mindset of a new generation of Palestinian youth, educating 492,000 students in 699 schools.
    The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 3.1 of the Convention, requires that “in all actions concerning children… the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”
    Article 6 requires UN agencies to recognize “that every child has the inherent right to life,” and, further, that UN agencies “shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.”
    Article 29 requires that such education be directed to the “preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of the sexes, and friendship among all peoples….”
    In direct contradiction to the mandate of UN education, UNRWA uses new school books from the Palestinian Authority, which violate sacred UN principles of peace.
    A depicted in the film “Camp Jihad,” produced by the Center for Near East Policy Research this past summer, UNRWA instructors openly incorporate virulent anti-Semitic teachings into the classroom, demonizing Jews as part of their UNRWA summer camp program, telling child campers that Jews are nothing but “wolves” who chased their grandparents from their homes.
    UNRWA educational facilities are sites of indoctrination, exploiting the malleability of children’s minds to breed hostility toward Israel and the West and to encourage violent homicide-suicide attacks, effectively grooming pupils for recruitment by terrorist groups like Hamas, which controls the teacher’s union in Gaza.
    Where is the accountability? With Islamic states that remain at war with Israel?
    The United States, the largest donor nation to UNRWA, contributed more than $275 million to the agency in 2013 alone, while the rest of the donors are spread among 38 democratic nations. The US continues unbridled funding of UNRWA, which results in the
    use of US taxpayer dollars for teaching Palestinian children to revere suicide-homicide bombings. Letters to US AID to condition funds to UNRWA on the cessation of such indoctrination have gone unanswered.
    At the same time, UNRWA openly hires teachers with ties to designated terrorist organizations, such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, ignoring US law that forbids aid to agencies hat hire terrorists. While UNRWA has agreements with Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon for the verification of criminal records by potential agency employees, no such agreement exists between UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority, where 19 UNRWA camps function under Palestinian jurisdiction.
    Terror education abounds in the UNRWA schools. A fifth grade textbook taught in UNRWA schools known as Our Beautiful Language reads, “We shall return to the homes, to the valleys, to the mountains/Under the flag of glory, Jihad and struggle/With blood, sacrifice [fida’], fraternity and loyalty/We shall return.”
    Another PA school book goes even further: “O brother, the oppressors have exceeded all bounds and Jihad and sacrifice [fida’] are imperative….”
    A ninth-grade PA textbook indoctrinates students into martyrdom. In an exercise where students are asked to connect two sentence, a correct answer links the phrase “Morning of glory and red redemption, nourished by the blood of Martyrs” with the concept of “hope for the liberation of Palestine.”
    When UNRWA promotes such sentiments, UNRWA schools violate children’s basic right to protection from harmful influence. The question remains: Will US citizens file complaints against UNRWA with Congress and with the courts, or will US citizens let this kind of US-funded education for terror continue unabated?

  3. Christopher Proudlove

    Israel Hayom today reports: “Incitement by the Palestinian Authority against Jews and Israel has not gone down during the current peace talks and in certain areas has even increased, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.
    Steinitz presented a report on the ongoing incitement in the Palestinian Authority. According to the report, the use of Nazi elements has increased, including using Adolf Hitler. The incitement on official Palestinian media outlets has also persisted, including channels within Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ influence and the education system, sending a series of disturbing messages: “Israel has no right to exist, certainly not as the Jewish nation. Israel’s disappearance is inevitable and will happen soon. The Jews are subhuman creatures and should be treated appropriately. All forms of conflict, including terrorism, are legitimate.”
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, “Real peace cannot take place without putting an end to the incitement against Israel and teaching peace. The Palestinian’s refusal to recognize Israel as the nation of the Jewish people — the root of the conflict.”

  4. Christopher Proudlove

    At last, some praise from Israel for the BBC. Yossi Aloni writes in the Mesianic Jewish magazine Israel today: “Israel has taken great pride in a recent BBC report regarding the Jewish state’s genuine care for its enemies. The BBC is often seen as biased against Israel, but the report in question had nothing but good things to say about Israel over its selfless care for victims of the ongoing civil war in Syria, a nation still officially at war with Israel.
    BBC Middle East correspondent Kevin Connolly visited Ziv Hospital in the northern Israel town of Safed and brought back a story of Syrians under fire whose lives were literally saved by their worst enemy.
    Connolly interviewed a Syrian mother giving birth to her baby at the Israeli hospital after the clinic in her own village turned her away due to its inability to handle her case amidst the chaos of war. The child “will one day have quite a story to tell. That is, if his parents ever decide to tell him,” noted Connolly. The woman was already in labour when she was turned away from her local clinic. “Her worried husband knew that it was possible to get her treated in Israel – and so the couple began a dangerous race to the frontier in a country at war and a desperate race against time,” the reporter continued.
    Like many before them, the anxious couple came to a point near the Israel-Syria border where they knew Israeli military patrols would see them. Shortly after, an Israeli military ambulance picked up the woman and transferred her on time to Ziv Hospital.
    Connolly pointed out that the new mother “was the 177th person to make the journey to the emergency room in what has become one of the most extraordinary subplots of Syria’s agonizing civil war.”
    The astonished correspondent explained that the phenomenon has become so common-place that an “informal system of patient transfer has become so well-established that some patients have even arrived with letters of referral written by doctors in Syria for their Israeli counterparts.”
    The director of Ziv Hospital, Dr. Oscar Embon, told the BBC that he hoped the experience of the Syrian patients would be different from what they had been raised to believe about Israel. “Most of them express their gratitude and their wish for peace between the two countries,” said Embon.
    Of course, decades of indoctrination are hard to reverse in just a few short days or weeks. Embon said he doesn’t “expect [the Syrian patients] to become lovers of Israel and ambassadors for what we do here, but in the interim I expect they will reflect on what was their experience here and that they will reflect differently on what the regime tells them about Israelis and Syrians being enemies.”
    Connolly went on to write about the compelling human dramas taking place in the hospital.
    “Most of the patients…won’t talk about what they have been through – they are too frightened about what would happen to them back in Syria if it emerged they had been to Israel,” he noted.
    One person who was ready to talk was an Israeli Arab social worker who identified himself as Faris, whose job it was to calm the disoriented Syrian visitors, many of whom come to only to find themselves being treated in an enemy state they have been taught is a bloodthirsty foe to all Arabs.
    Faris’ job is perhaps the most difficult of all at Ziv Hospital. In addition to having to explain a complicated situation, he also must eventually say goodbye to people with whom he has formed a strong bond, knowing that he will never see them again.
    “When people come here for two months,” Faris told Connolly, “a relationship starts between you and them and becomes stronger. Then they go home and the sad thing is you can’t be in contact with them because their villages are ‘enemy’ villages.”
    As word of the outstanding and unexpected medical care in Israel spreads, Connolly is certain that more and more Syrians will make their way to the border. Especially as Syrians gradually learn that the Jews of Israel mean them no harm.

    View original Israel Today publication at: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24335/Default.aspx?hp=article_title

  5. The above comment has no place in a thread about Israel caging children outside in bad weather. Do it again and i’ll remove all your comments from this thread…including the first one which shows that Israel does not heed the conventions of the child…I know you wont see it, but it’s there.

  6. Christopher Proudlove

    My view is that there is correlation between the two as both involve children and Israel. The BBC, for once, has covered the other side of the coin and shown Israel in a good light, something that this website never does.

  7. Christopher Proudlove

    Israeli journalist Rachel Avraham writes: “The Palestinian Authority, like many authoritarian dictatorships, has gone out of its way to prevent the world from learning critical facts that reflect negatively upon the Palestinian Authority leadership, such as the PA’s atrocious human rights record. This is why the Palestinian Authority has had no qualms about threatening western journalists into reporting the political situation in Judea and Samaria as they would like it to be reported. For example, a western journalist who wanted to do an investigative report on the murder of Israeli Arab actor Julian Mar Khamis was warned by Palestinian security officials that she would be putting her life at risk if she proceeded with the story.
    Furthermore, unlike the press within democratic countries like Israel, the Palestinian media does not feel beholden to tell the truth, instead serving as a mouthpiece for the regime. Indeed, one of the first things that the Palestinian Authority did after it was established was to torch Palestinian media offices and to arrest and beat up Palestinian journalists. The PA then proceeded to select editors who agreed solely with their ideology and to shut down opposing newspapers. The PA has continued to date to arrest bloggers and journalists who are critical of corruption within the Palestinian Authority. As Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, who works for the Jerusalem Post, asserted; “The irony is that, as an Arab Muslim, I feel freer to write for this Jewish paper than I do for any Arab newspaper.”
    Israeli attorney Caleb Meyers has asserted, “The greatest abusers of Palestinian human rights are not the Israeli government or the soldiers at the checkpoints or the Israeli settlers in the disputed territories. But it’s the Palestinian Authority itself.” Aside from mentioning the persecution of Palestinian dissidents, he declared that Palestinian women have been slaughtered in honor crimes, which have been on the upsurge in recent years, and Palestinian Christians are persecuted for their faith.
    Indeed, despite recent amendments to the laws in the PA related to honor crimes, attorney Salwa Banura claimed that the new law encouraged rather than decreased honor crimes since mitigating circumstances are still accepted by the courts. She claimed that as a result, men who murder relatives in honor crimes can end up only serving three months in prison. Furthermore, according to the Arab Organization for Human Rights, the PA also systematically tortures Palestinians. Their report on the subject claims that 60% of the people detained by the Palestinian Authority now suffer from chronic diseases due to the torture and poor conditions under which they were detained.
    However, the plight of Palestinian Christians is especially dire. Out of 600 Palestinian Christians from Gaza who had arrived in Judea and Samaria to celebrate Christmas, dozens have requested to relocate to Israel because living under either Hamas or the Palestinian Authority is unbearable for them. Dozens of Christian families in East Jerusalem have also relocated to Jewish neighborhoods, preferring not to live nextdoor to Palestinian Muslims. These sentiments are understandable if one examines the plight of Christians who are
    According to a study conducted by Dr. Justus Reid Weiner of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, violence against Christian women living in Judea and Samaria and Gaza was rare before the Palestinian Authority took over, but the situation has drastically changed since Oslo. According to Weiner, “The abuse of Palestinian Christian women extends well beyond verbal harassment and intimidation. The widespread occurrence of rape by Muslim men against Christian women exemplifies perhaps the most blatant denial of basic human rights as a result of religious identity.” He spoke with one Palestinian Christian girl, who claimed that Muslim Palestinian men often rape Christian girls in order to make them undesirable for Christian men. She asserted, “She can’t get married at all, after that.”
    Rev. Bill Harter, who visited areas under Palestinian Authority control in order to investigate the plight of Palestinian Christians, reported that the Christians who are presently living under Palestinian control expressed many fears. In addition to being raped, Palestinian Christians can be murdered, robbed, physically assaulted, and have their women abducted and forcefully converted to Islam, without the PA doing much to help them. Thus, it is quite telling that Bethlehem, which used to be a Christian city, now has a Muslim majority since many Palestinian Christians are fleeing from their ancestral homeland in droves due to the PA’s inability or lack of desire to protect them from such abuses. In fact, Israel is the one place in the Middle East where the Christian community isn’t dying off.

  8. Christopher Proudlove

    LONDON – An Arab human rights group based in London accused the Palestinian Authority of inhumane practices and human rights violations against Palestinian civilians in a scathing report published on Friday, the Jerusalem Post reported in December 2012..
    The Arab Organization for Human Rights has put the primary blame for the human rights abuses on PA President Mahmoud Abbas and called on the UN, Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation to take urgent action.
    AOHR monitored the practices of the PA’s security agencies from January to July 2012 and used information from victims detained by the PA, their families, eye-witnesses and local NGOs in its report.
    It accused the PA of arbitrary actions against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank – including torture, detentions, interrogations and firing people from their jobs.
    From June 2007 until the end of 2011, PA security forces detained 13,271 Palestinian citizens and 96 percent were subjected to various methods of torture, the report said. This resulted in the death of six detainees and caused “chronic illness” in others.
    Between January and July 2012, PA security agencies detained 572 people and sent summonses to 770 more.
    “Among them women and old people, who were often forced to wait from early morning to the evening before being interviewed.
    Some were summonsed daily for weeks on end, others were kept under virtual house arrest. The period also witnessed raids against universities, hospitals and houses in order to arrest people wanted for protesting against the Israeli occupation. PA officers confiscated equipment and personal cash, which often went missing after the searches,” the group said.
    It also said the PA was guilty of torture and degrading treatment, with 18.7 percent of a sample of 300 former detainees stating that they experienced “severe torture” and 99.7% claiming that they were exposed to degrading treatment.
    “With regards to the effect of detention on the lives of the detainees, 60% of those in the study explained that they now suffer from chronic diseases due to torture and the poor conditions in which they were held in detention.
    On another level, 60% confirmed that repeated or extensive detention reduced them to a state of acute poverty,” the report stated.
    AOHR said also that many experienced harassment and dismissal from their jobs.
    “At least 73 people were made unemployed in the period under review, and it is estimated that around 3,200 have faced the same injustice since 2005. Harassment also includes students with security records being unable to find employment, acquire a driving license or open a business,” the group maintained.
    The PA’s activities, the NGO said, are routinely carried out in full coordination with Israel. It added, however, that the detentions and summons by the PA surpassed those by Israeli security forces.
    PA security agencies have “no concern for the age or gender” of those being detained or summonsed, the report said.
    “A significant number of detainees are elderly people aged 60 and above, representing 11.3%; women made up 15.3%. Of the sample, 39.3% are students, 38% of whom confirmed that their studies were interrupted as a result of detention,” the report stated.
    It calls on the PA to adhere to international law and conventions, and to declare that a future Palestinian state “must be set up on true bases built on the rights of the Palestinian citizen to life and freedom.”
    It accused the PA of not learning vital lessons from the Arab Spring that has taken place in Arab states in the past two years.
    “It is staggering that the PA should, in the shadow of the Arab Spring, cultivate its own system of impunity, in total defiance of its people’s demands for freedom and dignity.
    They seem to be oblivious of the factors which led to the downfall of the tyrannical regimes across the region.
    There is absolutely no justification for its acceptance of becoming a subcontracted security instrument of the Israeli occupation, crushing at every opportunity the legitimate aspirations of their people for freedom and self-determination.”
    It also said that the PA has not learned from its experiences with Israel, and called to halt military cooperation with the Jewish state.
    “The PA’s human rights violations against the Palestinian people have amplified their suffering under the Israelis and undermined their national [unity] and struggle for selfdetermination.
    It is clearly obvious that the PA hasn’t learnt from its experiences with the Israelis. On the contrary, it remains firmly committed to its campaign of detention and destroying national solidarity while serving foreign agendas which strike the Palestinian national freedom project at its core,” the report stated in its conclusion.
    “AOHR places complete responsibility for these human rights violations on the Palestinian President Abbas… AOHR calls for the secretary-generals of the UN, Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to put pressure in Mahmoud Abbas to stop political detention as it harms the interests of all Palestinians.”
    Based in North West London, the AOHR in the UK was founded in 1993. Its website, which is in Arabic, said it was set up “to defend human rights in general and the Arab human rights in particular, and to publish the whole truth no matter how painful.”

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