Human RightsPalestine

Palestinian child declares hunger strike in Israeli jails

images_News_2014_01_29_minors_300_0The 16-year-old Palestinian prisoner Ubaida Amer Asaid declared on Tuesday an open hunger strike protesting his transfer to the Israeli Ofek jail.

Family sources confirmed that the child declared his hunger strike shortly after being transferred from Maskobeyah police station in occupied Jerusalem to Ofek jail against his will.

The Israeli police informed Asaid that he is going to be transferred to Hasharon prison as he asked, however they transferred him to Ofek jail against his will.

Ubaida was arrested with his brother Osman, 13, on November 25, 2013 on charges of throwing Molotov cocktails at an Israeli police car in Jerusalem. Osman was released on bail and remained under house arrest, while Ubaida was jailed in Maskobeyah police station.

Ubaida was arrested more than once where he spent five months behind Israeli bars.

Meanwhile, Israeli Magistrate’s Court extended the arrest of three Jerusalemite youths till Thursday pending investigation after being arrested Tuesday for throwing stones.

In the same context, Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem stated that detention of children under the age of criminal responsibility is illegal, and police are not authorized to interrogate them.

“This conduct is particularly problematic in the case of Islam Abu Hamdiyeh, only eight years old, as he was taken away after sundown, with no accompanying adult, and no attempt was made to inform his parents of his whereabouts”, the organization added in a press release issued on Tuesday.

B’Tselem demanded that “soldiers be clearly briefed that such conduct is illegal, that neither soldiers nor police officers have any authority to detain children under the age of criminal responsibility, and that once their age is known, the issue must be handled through their parents.”

“Recently, we have witnessed the military using new methods to deal with Palestinian minors who throw stones. Among other things, B’Tselem has received reports of public posters threatening minors or their parents, personally-delivered threats to a school principal, and night-time interrogations of residents not connected to the stone-throwing in order to pressure the community,” the press release added.

B’Tselem Executive Director Jessica Montell said: “We’re told that stone-throwing is plaguing the nation and that dealing with it justifies the use of such means, yet B’Tselem has ample documentation of the security forces turning a blind eye to the same offenses when committed by settlers. Children under the age of criminal responsibility are entitled to protection”.

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