A total of 27 Palestinian children were arrested by Israeli forces last week. The largest number of arrests took place in Silwan, East Jerusalem, where 11 children were detained. Also among those detained was 16-year-old ‘Anan Naji al-Tamimi from al-Nabi Saleh (Ramallah governorate).
‘Anan Naji al-Tamimi
On 11 March at around 1:45 am, Israeli soldiers entered ‘Anan’s home in the village of al-Nabi Saleh. The soldiers rounded up his family in their living room and searched the house.
Soon after, the soldiers removed ‘Anan from the house blindfolded him with a piece of cloth and bound his hands tightly with a plastic tie.
Once in the military jeep the soldiers slapped ‘Anan on the neck sharply several times. They drove for several minutes before stopping outside a caravan near Halamish settlement in which two policemen were waiting.
They removed ‘Anan’s blindfold but left his hands bound despite them cutting painfully into his wrists.
The policemen questioned ‘Anan for around an hour about his involvement in the weekly demonstrations that takes place in al-Nabi Saleh. They also accused him of throwing stones. ‘Anan was then put back in the jeep and blindfolded once again.
The soldiers drove for a distance of about 20 metres to an open area about one kilometre from al-Nabi Saleh. They forced ‘Anan out of the jeep, removed his blindfold, and drove away.
In the pitch darkness of the early hours of the morning, ‘Anan had no choice but to find his own way home with his hands still tied. When he finally arrived in al-Nabi Saleh, his father removed the plastic tie and saw that his son’s hands were badly swollen (See Al-Haq Affidavit No. 7133/2012).
Further attacks on children
Three children from Balata Refugee Camp (Nablus governorate) were arrested, shackled, blindfolded and beaten by Israeli soldiers on 6 March whilst collecting almonds in an area about 500 metres from the entrance to the Israeli settlement of Itamar.
These incidents are indicative of the Israeli policy of intimidation and collective punishment towards children. These children not only suffer physical injury but endure long-term psychological trauma as a result of detention. (See new report by Save The Children and the East Jerusalem YMCA)
Arbitrary arrests, prolonged detainment, and physical assault inflicted on children by Israeli forces are in clear violation of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law. Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention clearly states that “proper regard shall be paid to the special treatment due to minors.”
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child establishes in Article 37(a)(b) that no child should be exposed to cruel or degrading treatment and that arrest, detainment and imprisonment of children should be used as a measure of last resort.
This week also saw the tragic deaths of two 11-year-old children, Hamza Muhammad Jaradat and Ziyad Jum’a Jaradat. The boys were killed on 6 March after an undetonated Israeli artillery shell they had found in a field near their home, exploded whilst they were playing in the area of Sa’ir (Hebron governorate).