Please join #nowaytotreatachild campaign co-leaders from Defense for Children International - Palestine and American Friends Service Committee for a webinar on June 30 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT. We will share updates on the situation of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons and provide an overview of the Israeli military law framework. We will highlight how the Israeli military law and military court system fail to ensure or guarantee fundamental human rights.
Approximately 2.9 million Palestinians live in the occupied West Bank, of which around 45 percent are children under the age of 18.
Palestinian children in the West Bank, like adults, face arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment under an Israeli military detention system that denies them basic rights.
Since 1967, Israel has operated two separate legal systems in the same territory. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers are subject to the civilian and criminal legal system whereas Palestinians live under military law.
Israel applies civilian criminal law to Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. No Israeli child comes into contact with the military courts.
Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections. Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year.
Ill-treatment in the Israeli military detention system remains “widespread, systematic, and institutionalized throughout the process,” according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report Children in Israeli Military Detention Observations and Recommendations.
Children typically arrive to interrogation bound, blindfolded, frightened, and sleep deprived.
Children often give confessions after verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence that in some cases amounts to torture.
Israeli military law provides no right to legal counsel during interrogation, and Israeli military court judges seldom exclude confessions obtained by coercion or torture.
U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, also known as H.R. 2407, on April 30. The bill prohibits U.S. taxpayer funding for the military detention of children in any country, including Israel.
While generally applicable, H.R. 2407 seeks to promote justice, equality, and human rights by ensuring that U.S. financial assistance provided to the Government of Israel is not used to support widespread and institutionalized ill-treatment against Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces and prosecuted in Israeli military courts lacking basic fair trial protections.
Join us for more information on the bill and updates on how you can get involved in congressional advocacy in support of Palestinian human rights.
ABOUT #NOWAYTOTREATACHILD'S WEBINARS AND ZOOM:
For this webinar, we will be using the Zoom platform. Additional instructions and details for joining the webinar will be shared by email with individuals that have registered.