Military Court Watch – Newsletter November 2017

Dec 2, 2017No Comments »

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Web: | Twitter: @MCourtWatch

Newsletter – November 2017

Detention figures

According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 June 2017 there were 5,916 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in Israeli detention facilities including 318 Palestinian children (12-17 years). Ten of these children were girls, representing 3 percent. In the case of children there was a 4 per cent decrease in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 18 per cent compared with 2016. These figures also include 2 children held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 74 per cent of child detainees and 83 per cent of adults were transferred and/or detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention during the month. A further 1,598 Palestinians were held as “criminal prisoners” including 13 children. 
More statistics >> 

Reports of ill-treatment

Since the publication of the UNICEF report in 2013, Military Court Watch (MCW) has collected 540 testimonies from children detained in the West Bank by the military authorities – representing approximately 14 percent of the total number of children (12-17 years) detained during this period. The evidence indicates that despite measures taken by the military during the intervening four-and-a-half years, the percentage of children reporting abuse has actually increased from 60 percent in 2013, to 64 percent in 2017. The types of abuse reported between January and September 2017 (70 testimonies) includes: slapping (51 percent); kicking (19 percent); punching (14 percent); beaten with objects (9 percent); pushed into objects (6 percent); and position abuse (1 percent). 

Haaretz: Israeli occupation’s brutal routine: nightly raids, boys cuffed for hours and seized jewelry

It’s the last street at the southern edge of the West Bank town of Beit Ummar, between Bethlehem and Hebron. The settlement of Karmei Tzur looms on the hill across the way. A street like any other: one- and two-story homes, potholes, no sidewalk. On this long road, which doesn’t even have a name and where grace does not abound, hardly a night goes by without a raid by the Israel Defense Forces. The troops swoop in four or five times a week, usually in the dead of night. Here’s what they’ve done in the past few weeks: They caught a boy who was suspected of throwing stones, dragged him across rock-strewn ground for hundreds of meters, thrust him into a room and forced him to stay there for six hours, blindfolded and hands bound. 

New Bill would prevent U.S. funding for Israel’s detention of Palestinian children

A Minnesota congresswoman has introduced a bill that seeks to prevent the United States from funding Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children. The legislation introduced Tuesday by Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat, has at least nine co-sponsors. It would require the secretary of state to certify annually that U.S. assistance to Israel has not been used in the previous year to militarily detain, interrogate or abuse Palestinian children. “The purpose of this act is to promote and protect the human rights of Palestinian children and to ensure that United States taxpayer funds shall not be used to support the military detention of Palestinian children,” the bill reads. “Congress must not turn a blind eye to the unjust and ongoing mistreatment of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation,” McCollum said on her website. 

A child’s testimony

On 25 September 2017, a 14-year-old boy from the Al ‘Arrub refugee camp was arrested by soldiers at 2:30 a.m. He reports being interrogated without being informed of his right to silence or consulting with a lawyer prior to questioning. ” I was woken up by an Israeli soldier in my bedroom shining a torch in my face at around 2:30 a.m. I looked around and saw two other masked soldiers in my bedroom. I was terrified and did not know what was going on. The soldier asked me for my name and then told me to get up because I was under arrest. The soldiers were in a hurry but I managed to put on a jacket and slip on my shoes, but without socks. They did not allow me to say goodbye to my family and they did not give us any written documents about the arrest.” 

A soldier’s video testimony: “Condoleezza Rice was visiting”

In this video a former Israeli soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence describing a company’s weekly routine. All activities were frozen once Condoleezza Rice arrived in Israel so as not to agitate the sector. “While we were in Nablus, we had a daily agenda. A detailed layout for the entire week … A week, meaning, we train for a mission, and get our orders around evening time. An arrest means we’ll be arresting someone within the Nablus area … or we could enter a Palestinian home and turn it into an IDF post and position our snipers, it could be an open area ambush, where we hide behind a bush somewhere. Whichever activity it is we train for it, eat dinner at the base, and at 24:00 at night we leave for the mission and return at dawn after completing it. We arrive at dawn … dump the detainee … with the Military Police, have a cup of coffee, go to sleep and wake up for lunch.” 
Watch video >>

Source: Military Court Watch, Newsletter, Nov. 2017 >>

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