WEST BANK (Dispatches) – Palestinian children detained by Zionist troops are exposed to systematic torture and various forms of abuse, and the practices have apparently been legitimized by the Zionist regime’s judiciary, an independent organization for children says.
Save the Children said in a new report that there are currently at least 200 Palestinian children behind bars at Ofer, Damon and Megiddo detention centers, and the detainees include children with disabilities and mental health problems.
The report added that Damon and Megiddo prisons are heavily congested, and child prisoners are kept there in close proximity to each other in squalid and unsanitary conditions.
Save the Children noted that children in custody are mistreated in an "appalling” matter and they "are being harmed.”
The reality is that if animals were treated like this, it would be a domestic and even international scandal, the NGO pointed out.
The organization’s findings demonstrate that female prisoners are also subjected to horrifying treatment. Interviews with former detainees reveal that girls reported being detained more frequently at checkpoints, whereas a majority of boys were arrested at their homes. Young Palestinians are regularly targeted near illegal Zionist settlements in the occupied West Bank.
In a latest incident, an Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinian minor from the occupied east al-Quds to three years in prison over an alleged attempt to carry out a stabbing attack.
The court on Thursday ruled that 13-year-old Ashraf Adwan from Eizariya town should pay 5,000 Israeli shekels ($1461) in fine and compensation, the Palestinian Information Center reported.
Adwan was abducted from outside the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in September last year.
He has been interrogated under harsh circumstances at an Israeli detention center over the past few months. The teenager is also said to have been tortured.
Back in April, the Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said in a report that nearly 200 Palestinian children were kept behind bars in Israeli prisons in inhumane conditions, undergoing "very rough interrogation process and torture.”
Qadri Abu Baker, the head of the commission, denounced the UN at the time for failing to "provide the minimum protection for the Palestinian children” against physical and psychological abuse in the occupying regime’s jails.
Abu Baker said Zionist troops had arrested more than 17,000 minors since 2000, adding that in most cases the children under the age of 10 were detained. He stressed that the majority of the children had been subjected to physical and psychological torture.