Children Don’t Belong In Military Jails
Please consider speaking out for Palestinian children who are being detained indefinitely by Israeli authorities without charge or trial. By its own admission, Israel currently holds 440 children (as young as 12) from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in military detention facilities.
The children are often taken from their beds in the middle of the night by fearsome Israeli security agents. Not only are detention locations concealed, but parents are denied access or contact with their child. The children are denied legal representation for 24-48 hours and are often pressured to sign “confessions” before being allowed to see their parents or a lawyer.
The harsh treatment is carried out under an oppressive military detention system. By contrast, Israeli children living in the same area go through a far more lenient civil legal system. In 2013, UNICEF issued a disturbing report entitled “Children in Israeli Detention: Observations and Recommendations.” The report made 38 recommendations. Despite three years of dialogue with Israeli authorities, little progress has been made to remedy the situation.
Recently, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) initiated a letter to President Obama asking him to appoint a special envoy to investigate the situation of detained Palestinian children. Please contact your member of Congress today and ask them to support appointment of a special envoy. You might also ask your representative to sign Rep. McCollum’s letter.
Palestinian youth have had their futures stifled by living under prolonged military occupation. Every day they face systemic discrimination and violence by Israeli security forces. A culture of impunity for Israeli soldiers–combined with the hopelessness felt by Palestinian youth—have fueled an escalation in desperate acts of violence in recent months.
The status quo is not sustainable. Together, we can urge the U.S. government to take action to keep the situation from getting worse. Thank you for all of your efforts. For additional information, see the “No Way to Treat a Child Campaign.”
The Coalition for Peace with Justice’s mission is to work for a just and sustainable peace in Israel-Palestine. We educate the public, advocate for change based on equal rights, and directly support peace builders in Israel-Palestine.
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