Israeli interrogators sexually harass Palestinian children in detention
RAMALLAH — A number of Palestinian children who were detained in different circumstances have reported their exposure to abuse and maltreatment by Israeli soldiers and interrogators.
In some cases, the interrogators sexually harassed the children and on other occasions they threatened to rape them if they did not cooperate or make certain confessions, according to the children’s testimonies.
Palestinian statistics documented the detention of more than 9,000 children during the past ten years, mostly from occupied Jerusalem and West Bank villages such as Bil’in, Ma’sarah, Kafr Qaddum, Nabi Saleh and Beit Ummar.
A child named Mohamed said an Israeli interrogator threatened to sexually harm him if he refused to confess to throwing stones at soldiers and settlers.
Samer, another child, was given the choice of working as an informer or else he would be tortured, raped and jailed on a charge of throwing a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli patrol in Azzun village near Qalqiliya city.
For his part, director of the Al-Haq organization for human rights Shawan Jabbarin said the Israeli interrogators offer the detained Palestinian children to work for them if they want to get rid of the sexual and psychological pressure inflicted on them.
Jabbarin noted that Israel violates all limitations for the detention of minors under age 18 as stipulated by the fourth Geneva convention.
He stressed the need for the presence of a lawyer or one of the parents during the interrogation of children to prevent violations against them and to protect their rights.
The activist appealed to the UN and human rights organizations to intervene and oblige Israel to respect international law on the rights of children and release them all from its jails.
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