Nearly 350 Palestinian minors held in Israeli jails: Group
A Palestinian non-governmental organization says Israel is holding nearly 350 minors, among them children as young as 15, in prisons and detention facilities across the occupied territories.
In a statement released on Saturday, the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) announced that it has documented more than 2,000 cases of child arrests since late 2015, and that most of the detentions have been carried out in Jerusalem al-Quds, Arabic-language Palestine al-Aan news agency reported.
The group made the announcement on the eve of United Nations Universal Children’s Day on November 20.
The PPC further pointed to the crimes that Israeli authorities are perpetrating against Palestinian children, namely direct and deliberate use of firearms, interrogation and detention without offering any food or drink, severe beatings, use of abusive language, threats and intimidation bids as well as forced confession.
The NGO noted that the ratification of “racist” bills and legislation, and levy of heavy cash fines against families of Palestinian child inmates have reached a record high this year.
The revelations came on the same day that Israeli authorities transferred 14-year-old Ahmad Saleh Manasra to the high-security Megiddo prison.
On November 7, the Jerusalem al-Quds District Court sentenced Manasra to 12 years in jail on the charge of attempting to murder a 20-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy in the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev in East Jerusalem al-Quds on October 12, 2015.
The Palestinian teenage boy was also ordered to pay 80,000 shekels ($21,000) in compensation to the Israeli man and 100,000 shekels ($26,260) to the Israeli boy.
The Palestinian teenager was accused of carrying out the assault along with his 15-year-old cousin Hassan, who was fatally shot by Israeli forces.
Video footage released on social media networks in the wake of the attack showed Manasra bleeding heavily on the ground as some Israeli bystanders shouted a mixed of Arabic and Hebrew obscenities at him.
The occupied territories have been the scene of increased tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in August 2015.
More than 260 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of October 2015.