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Israeli violations against Palestinian minors rises

Arrest of Fawzi al-Junaidi, 16 years old Palestinian boy, accused of throwing stones. Arrest of Fawzi al-Junaidi, 16 years old Palestinian boy, accused of throwing stones. Wisam Hashlamoun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

23 January 2018
The detention of a 16-year-old girl highlighted to the world the problem of alleged Israeli abuse against Palestinian children.

Ahed al-Tamimi is 16 years old, and she became an icon of the Palestinian rebellion when on 19th December 2017 she was arrested for the fifth time, accused of attacking Israeli soldiers. Her arrest received widespread attention and, along with the case of Fawzi al-Junaidi, shown in a viral photo, in which the young boy is blindfolded and surrounded by twenty heavily armed soldiers. These are just the most prominent episodes of Israel's apparent use of excessive force on Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has complained to the International Criminal Court (ICC) about the increase of Israeli violations against Palestinian children since US President Trump’s decision to formally recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel. According to the Defense for Children International-Palestine’s (DCIP) report, many Palestinian minors have suffered serious injuries by Israeli forces since protests broke out across the occupied territories, and at least 345 children have been wounded in the wake of Trump's declaration, on December 6, 2017.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, the DCIP's accountability programme director, Ayed Abu Eqtaish, declared that the most alarming aspect of Israel's repression on latest protests was its "misuse of so-called less lethal crowd-control weapons", which include rubber bullets, sponge bullets and tear gas. The DCIP documented two cases in which a Palestinian minor was seriously injured by a rubber bullet. The first one is about a 15-year-old, shot with a rubber bullet that fractured his skull, in Nablus. Mohammed Tamimi, cousin of Ahed al-Tamimi, was the second serious case. DCIP said the bullet caused "severe bleeding in his brain" before being removed.

According to the DCIP’s report, 320 Palestinian children are currently being held by Israel and, out of 520 cases of Palestinian children being detained by Israel, between 2012 and 2016, 66% faced verbal abuse and humiliation and 72% experienced physical violence. Without the soldiers facing accountability, Israel "signals tacit approval for killing or seriously injuring children", declared Eqtaish.


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