UNICEF Study: Israel Abuses Palestinian Child Detainees

Israel Promises 'Adjustments' to Treatment of Child Prisoners

A scathing new report (PDF) from UNICEF blasts the Israeli government for its treatment of the hundreds of Palestinian children it captures and holds as “detainees” annually, referring to their treatment as “cruel, inhuman and degrading.”

The report says children are routinely blindfolded, shackled with painful restraints, and face physical violence, death threats, and threats of sexual assault against themselves or a family member.

The report goes on to criticize the Israeli court system for its handling of such child detainees, noting that the children are held shackled, denied bail and are often sentenced to “custodial sentences” outside of the occupied territories, being brought into Israel to serve out sentences.

Israel responded by saying the existing system was created with “adult terrorists” in mind, and that it has to continue to make adjustments related to “Palestinian minors in acts of terror.” It is noteworthy that these detainees are largely captured for involvement in protests or for throwing stones, and not for conducting actual terror attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.