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TRC: Israel legalizing arrest, detention of Palestinian children under 14 a human rights violation

PNN/ Bethlehem/

In a dangerous step, the Israeli Knesset has recently approved a legislation that allows the arrest of children under 14 years old and keeping them detained in Israeli jails until end of the legal procedures. Such approach aims to legitimize the increasing arrests of the Palestinian children, by the Israeli Occupation Forces, especially those who live in Jerusalem, which reached its momentum since the last wave of Palestinian unrest.

In an official statement, Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (TRC) said that such Legislation is a flagrant violation of the prolonged International efforts to ground the peace, justice and freedom foundations, for the sake of humanity via international instrument that emphasis the importance of respecting and protecting all human rights and freedoms in general, and specifically of those related to children. The Principles of the United Nations Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the two International Covenants, the Convention of the Rights of the Child, consider every human under the age of 18 is a child, and not only had legally surrounded childhood with great deal of care and protection but also emphasize on the importance of adopting progressive measures for this purpose.

Furthermore, this legislation violates the International Humanitarian Laws, including the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and the two additional protocols of the four conventions. It further violates the General Assembly Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict.

This legislation deprives detained children from their natural freedoms and rights as well as the companionship of their families, and their rights to education. The brutality and torture these children are subjected to by the Israeli security forces constitutes a grave violation of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment provisions, that considers torture is  absolutely prohibited and unjustified in all conditions (UNCAT).

This approach by the Israeli Knesset which aims to devastate the pureness and innocence of childhood is a frank indicator: of the systematic biased policy pursued by the Israeli occupation towards Palestinian Civilians, and contempt of the free world values of justice, freedom and democracy. Thus, an immediate intervention of the International Human Rights Organizations to eliminate such legislation is an urgent need and crucial affair.

In the light of these dangerous developments, the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture denounces the ongoing Israeli occupation practices against Palestinian civilians, specifically children, which has recently approved the aforementioned legislation. Furthermore, it calls for the International Community to advocate/stand against those inhuman and racist legislations and practices.

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