Palestinian minors ‘face physical, verbal abuse’ in Israeli jails

Bethlehem/PNN/

Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons are subjected to physical and verbal abuse by Israeli forces, a Palestinian commission says.

The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs released a report based on testimonies given by 45 children from Jerusalem al-Quds under 18 who are held in the Israeli prison of Damon, the Arabic-language Egyptian newspaper al-Youm al-Sabe’ reported.

The children said they were severely beaten by the so-called “Nahshon” forces who accompanied them during transfer to and from courts and during transfer from other prisons to Damon. They said the Israeli troops punched and kicked them in all parts of their bodies.

The children added that they were subjected to insults in the deportation vehicles or in the courts’ waiting rooms.

One of the elder prisoners who was responsible for the children detained in Damon said instances of verbal and physical abuse were growing and that signs of beating were visible on the minors’ bodies and faces when they came back to their prison cells.

The source added that immediate complaints were submitted to the prison authorities but no response was received.

The commission said the unit known as “Nahshon” was tasked with transferring detainees from one prison to another and from prison to the courts. The agents of the unit were also in charge of the prisons.

The unit regularly forces the detainees to strip naked on the pretext of inspection, breaks into their rooms, and disarranges their belongings.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails. Dozens of them are serving multiple life sentences.

It is estimated that between 500 and 700 Palestinian minors, some as young as 12 years old, have been arrested and brought to trial in Israeli courts. The most common charge against them is stone-throwing.