Can you imagine?
This is the reality for hundreds of Palestinian parents and their children, mostly boys, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank each year. At any one time, between 300 and 400 Palestinian minors between the ages of 12 and 18 are being held in Israeli military detention.
Their crime? Usually, throwing stones. Sometimes, just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Studies by human rights groups and organizations like UNICEF have documented that ill-treatment is widespread and systematic. In 97 percent of cases, children are interrogated without a parent or legal representative present, and in 75 percent of cases, they experience some form of physical violence from soldiers or police.
The military detention of Palestinian children is part of a larger system of occupation which subjugates, humiliates and denies Palestinians their basic rights. That system includes: the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories; the demolition of homes; the restrictions on movement through walls, checkpoints, and a permit system; the suppression of nonviolent resistance; the decimation of hope.
There is a growing public outcry about the issue of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention. Not only is the military detention of children and youth morally wrong. It also violates many internationally-recognized human rights and child rights.
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has joined a movement called No Way to Treat a Child, urging protection for Palestinian children. MCC is calling on the federal government to honour international law commitments and hold Israeli authorities accountable for widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees.
Please join this effort!
Watch a video and read a story about Jarrah, a 15-year-old Palestinian youth who spent 9 months in detention.
And please sign the petition which says Military detention is no way to treat a child.