Palestinian children traumatized by Israeli jails: Report

Israeli forces taking an arrested Palestinian child (file photo)
Ninety-eight percent of Palestinian children imprisoned by Israeli regime are exposed to physical or verbal violence during detention and with most of them suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after their release.

According to a Monday report published by Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, since 2000, the Israeli military has detained more than 8,000 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and prosecuted children as young as 12 in military courts for rock-throwing.

“Detention has a devastating impact on children, their families and their societies… Children suffer from effects including post-traumatic stress disorder, fear of leaving the house, in addition to psychological symptoms such as anxiety attacks and nightmares. Families become overprotective and refuse to let children out of the house,” the report said.

The report is based on a survey of 292 Palestinians under the age of 18, who had been detained and released by Israeli army.

According to Israeli military, those children are arrested for rock-throwing which it calls “a serious offence that can cause injury or death.” It also says that “These (rock-throwing children) are very violent kids.”

Seventeen-year-old Ahmad Dsouqi, who was arrested after Israeli forces raided his house last year, said that he was handcuffed and beaten during lengthy interrogations, not allowed to go outside and eventually forced to confess that he had thrown stones at Israeli soldiers.

According to data collected by the Palestinian rights group Defense for Children International, 2,301 children were taken into custody in 2011, with presently 170 Palestinian minors in Israeli jails.

MHB/MA



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