A shocking report from Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) has revealed that between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2019 there were an unbelievable 108 documented cases where Palestinian children were arrested and held in isolation for two or more days by Israeli military during the so-called interrogation period. The report states that the average period of isolation for these children was 14.3 days while almost 40 per cent suffered protracted periods of 16 days or longer. The longest recorded was a terrifying 30 days. It has been well documented from studies relating to the impact of isolation on adult prisoners that 15 days is when ‘some of the harmful psychological effects of isolation can become irreversible’. The 108 children were all boys aged between 14-17 years old. The children were held on a variety of offences by the Israeli authorities ranging from throwing stones, throwing Molotov cocktails with a small number accused of having weapons in their possession and an even smaller number accused of having ‘involvement with a military cell’, membership of outlawed organisations and plotting attacks. Shockingly some of these children were held for incitement on Facebook! Regardless of what they have been accused of, these are children and no charges have been levied against them during their interrogation period. The actions of the Israeli authorities to hold minors in this way is shameful and barbaric. One can only imagine what happens to adults accused of a crime by the Israeli authorities. This behaviour can no longer go unchallenged for fear of being labelled anti-Semitic. The time has come for the international community to do the right thing and not only condemn Israel for their cruel and vicious oppression of the Palestinian people but to act. The Workers’ Party call for the UN to hold an investigation into the findings of the report by the DCIP immediately and create a plan of action to put an end to this barbarous treatment of children in an already oppressed country. The Workers’ Party of Ireland send their continued solidary and support to the Palestinian people.
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