The Palestinian Authority is currently looking into the possibility of filing a complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israel for arresting 900 Palestinian children in 2012.
In taking such an action, Palestine will be using its newly-acquired rights as an observer state at the United Nations, said Eissa Karakea, Palestinian Minister of Detainees’ Affairs.
“We need to use the newly gained state status to take measures against Israel for its crimes especially the arrest, detention, and abuse of Palestinian children, let alone trying them before military courts,” he told Al Arabiya.
Karakea added that after being granted observer status, Palestine has the right to join international human rights organizations and through them can file complaints against Israel.
“Israel is violating the Child Protection Act and all international laws by subjecting children to such traumatic experiences. The Israeli minister of security had actually said earlier that Palestinian children have no immunity.”
According to Karakea, the International Community is already aware of the crimes committed against Palestinian children.
“Several human rights organizations are launching campaigns and organizing conferences in solidarity with Palestinian children and are spreading testimonials by the victims, but this is not enough. We need to take further steps.”
The minister’s statement followed a report issued by the Ministry of Detainees Affairs, which revealed that the number of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli authorities has jumped from 700 in 2011 to 900 in the present year.
According to the report, those children are usually mistreated and brutally beaten during detention in order to admit to crimes they have not committed and to tell on their friends and acquaintances who allegedly also committed crimes that threaten Israel’s security.
The report added that those children are interrogated for long hours while their hands and feet are tied and sometimes they are blindfolded. In some interrogation centers, the report noted, children are left for hours under the rain. In most cases, the children are subjected to various forms of collective punishment.
The detainees are deprived of basic rights like seeing their families and they are also not allowed to sit with psychiatrists. They are often detained with adult prisoners and subjected to verbal, physical, and sexual abuse by fellow inmates.