Photo: Rich Wiles/War on Want
Ask your MP to stand up for the rights of Palestinian children
Israel holds over 6,000 Palestinians as political prisoners. Over 200 of them are children below the age of 18.
Palestinian children, as young as 9 years old, are regularly arrested and tried in Israeli military courts, detained in prisons and detention centres away from their homes and families, and denied their most basic rights. Palestinian human rights organisations, as well as UNICEF, have found that a majority of Palestinian children arrested report being subjected to ill-treatment in Israeli detention.
Israel’s arrest and detention of Palestinian children involves widespread and systematic violations of international law and UN treaties designed to protect the rights of children. The UK Government knows about these systematic violations, and it must take action now to stop them.
Richard Burden MP has tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the UK Government to pressure Israel to end the widespread and systemic human rights violations suffered by Palestinian children in Israeli military custody.
This important EDM has already been signed by over 40 MPs from across political parties. Other MPs can sign on too, so they need to hear from constituents that this issue is important for you.
Please email your MP and ask them to sign the EDM, and to support the call for the UK Government to call Israel to account over its violations.
An average of 700 Palestinian children (under 18 years old) from the West Bank are arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli military each year. The most common charge against children is throwing stones, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. A majority of children report being subjected to ill-treatment in Israeli detention.
Israel's policies of arrest and detention systematically violate numerous elements of international law.
Experience has shown that gentle pressure on this issue simply will not work.
- In February 2016, Israeli authorities refused to facilitate meetings and site visits for a delegation of British lawyers to examine the conditions of detained Palestinian children. The delegation was meant to be following up on a 2012 FCO-supported report about Palestinian children in Israeli military custody.
- In a May 2017 letter responding to our supporters, the FCO confirmed its knowledge of Israel’s violations of international law, and stated that the Government has raised the issue with Israel. But the violations persist.
- In November 2017, Israel refused entry to a delegation of European officials because they had spoken out in support of the rights of Palestinian political prisoners.
The UK Government needs to take bold action to pressure Israel to end its violations of international law.