Norway holds conference on Palestinian children in zionist israeli prisons
This seems like a rather timely conference. According to a recent report by Child Rights International Network about 700 Palestinian children are arrested by the Israeli army yearly. Also a 2013 UNICEF report concludes that the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the Israeli military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.
The UNICEF report provides a basis for this conference. It aims to raise awareness among the Norwegian public, politicians and decision-makers about the treatment of Palestinian children at Israeli prisons. The organizers believe by means of such gatherings, they can force Israel to adopt a policy in the occupied territories that conforms with the international law and human rights.
The keynote speakers included an Israeli journalist and several human rights activists. Gerard Horton of the the organisation Military watch explained how the Israeli army carries out night-time raids to arrest Palestinian children. The children are taken to Israeli military courts and the conviction rate has been astoundingly high – above 99 per-cent.
The conference organizers demanded that no Palestinian child should be imprisoned in the first place. If detained and imprisoned, he should not be ill-treated; and should be given all his rights. Israeli and Palesinian children should be treated alike. And Norway should do more to prevent detention of Palestinian children in the Israeli military prisons.
Critics say Palestinian children having rights in Israeli prisons represents at its best an occupation with best practices. Therefore the organizers say ending the occupation itself is their real aim.