Israeli Army Abuses Minors during Detention, says Prisoners’ Committee

RAMALLAH, February 8, 2015 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Authority’s Committee on Prisoners’ Affairs issued a statement on Saturday, voicing concern over a mounting surge of abuse against Palestinian minor prisoners by the Israeli authorities.

The committee said that the Israeli army deliberately horrifies Palestinian children and treats them aggressively during their detention, often conducted during predawn and night raids on their families’ homes.

According to the Committee, after following up with recently arrested minors, their affidavits revealed a great deal of similarity between soldiers’ practices against minors at time of detention, which the committee stressed proves that these practices are done systematically rather than individually.

These practices include beating, hand and leg shackling and eye-folding, verbal abuse, in addition to being forced to stay outside in the cold weather for long hours.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) said three Palestinian prisoners held in the Israeli Eshel prison are currently suffering from serious health conditions, due to deliberate medical negligence by the Israel Prison Authority.

The committee highlighted the case of 59-year-old Taysir Samoudi, a resident of Jenin who was arrested in 1996 and sentenced to 23 years in jail, reporting that Samoudi suffers from problems in his heart arteries, difficulty breathing, and spinal disk problems. He also suffers from loss of vision in one eye and is also paralyzed in one of his legs due to a stroke he had in 2008.

More than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners are still detained in Israeli prisons, dozens of whom are serving a life sentence or multiple life sentences.

The number of sick prisoners detained in Israeli jails has reached 1500, 80 prisoners of whom are suffering serious health problems and do not receive the necessary treatment; they suffer from malignant diseases, paralysis, and disabilities, in addition to cases of mental illness and neurological disorder.

“By the end of January 2014, it was reported that a total of 183 Palestinian children were prosecuted and detained in the Israeli court system, a rise of 18.8% over the month. The figure includes twenty children between the ages of 14 and 15,” reported the Middle East Monitor in a story.

Israel is the only state to automatically and systematically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic standards of due process.