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Published On: Fri, Nov 18th, 2016

DCIP Calls on EU to Hold Israel Accountable

IMEMC : Defense for Children International – Palestine urged the European Union, during a meeting on Thursday, to pressure Israeli authorities to end ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.

Ahmad Manasra_Palestine_AlRayKhaled Quzmar, the general director of DCIP, addressed the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Palestine in Brussels during a meeting on the plight of Palestinian child prisoners. Quzmar focused on the effects of escalating violence across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since October 2015, and the rapidly deteriorating situation facing Palestinian children living under prolonged Israeli military occupation. He called on members to hold Israeli authorities accountable to international law and end systemic impunity for grave violations against Palestinian children.

“International juvenile justice norms demand detention only be used as a last resort and prioritizes rehabilitation and reintegration,” said Quzmar, drawing attention to the rising numbers of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention and recent harsh Israeli laws targeting Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. “These increasingly harsh practices and laws prioritize the criminalization and punishment of children in complete disregard of international law.”

Other speakers included Sahar Francis, general director of Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a local Palestinian human rights organization, and Simon Ingram, a representative from UNICEF’s Brussels office.

The European Parliament currently has 44 delegations that aim to promote the “principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law” in non-EU countries. The Delegation for relations with Palestine was established in 1993.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes between 500 and 700 children in military courts each year. A recent report released by DCIP in April found three out of four Palestinian children endured some form of physical violence following arrest, and 97 percent of children had no parent present during the interrogation or access to legal counsel.

Israel held 440 Palestinian children in custody at the end of February 2016, more than twice the monthly average since 2011 and the highest number at any given point since the Israel Prison Service began releasing data in 2008.

Israeli authorities have also renewed the use of administrative detention against Palestinian children. Since October 2015, DCIP has documented the use of administrative detention against 20 Palestinian children. Six of them remain in administrative detention, including one that has since turned 18 years old.

Administrative detention permits military commanders or government officials to incarcerate individuals without charge or trial, based on secret evidence.

IMEMC

About the Author

- The International Middle East Media Center, IMEMC , is an independent Palestinian news agency specialized in reporting on Palestinian domestic politics, foreign policy and the Palestine - Israel conflict in English language. The work of IMEMC is particularly valuable, because it is reporting on the daily events, related to the occupation of Palestine, which are otherwise only available in Arabic language. IMEMC contributor and editor Saed Bannora, born 1973 in Palestine, is a prolific Palestinian journalist. After having been shot multiple times by an Israeli death squad, Saed Bannoura is confined to using a wheelchair. Saed Bannoura is a tireless activist for Palestinians rights. His work and the work of his colleagues at t IMEMC is a valuable contribution for readers of nsnbc ìnternational. IMEMC´s website is located at www.imemc.org

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