H.R. 4391 Legislation Overview

The Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act seeks to promote justice, equality and human rights by ensuring that United States financial assistance provided to the Government of Israel is not used to support the detention of Palestinian children by Israeli forces in a military detention system where ill-treatment is widespread and institutionalized; or their prosecution in a military court system that has been found to lack basic fair trial protections and guarantees.

» Read the full text of the bill: http://bit.ly/HRbill4391

H.R. 4391 requires the Secretary of State to certify annually that none of the funds obligated or expended in the previous fiscal year by the United States for assistance to the Government of Israel have been used to support the ill-treatment of Palestinian children in violation of international humanitarian law or to support the use against Palestinian children of any of the following practices:

  1. Torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment.
  2. Physical violence, including restraint in stress positions.
  3. Hooding, sensory deprivation, death threats, or other forms of psychological abuse.
  4. Incommunicado detention or solitary confinement.
  5. Administrative detention.
  6. Denial of access to parents or legal counsel during interrogations.
  7. Confessions obtained by force or coercion.

It requires the Secretary of State to certify to the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate that no funds have been used by the Government of Israel to support personnel, training, lethal materials, equipment, facilities, logistics, transportation or any other activity that supports the practices listed in the bill.

The bill leaves current financial assistance to the Government of Israel in place and does not adjust or cut financial assistance already committed to Israel by the United States, rather the focus of the bill is on certification and reporting in order to enhance transparency regarding financial assistance to Israel.

If such a certification cannot be made, the Secretary must transmit a report to each committee describing in detail the amount of funds used by the Government of Israel in violation of the specific prohibitions noted in the legislation and each activity supported by such funds.

The findings provisions in the bill, based on persistent and credible evidence-based reports from UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, and others, establish that ill-treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli forces is widespread, systematic and institutionalized from the moment of arrest in the Israeli military detention system.

Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) is a local, independent Palestinian human rights organization committed to securing a just and viable future for Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.