Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Qaraqe: Israel Arrest 700 Child Annually, 90% of them Subjected to Torture

July 18, 2012 PNN

On Wednesday, July 18th, the Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said that Israel arrests 700 Palestinian minors annually. These minors are all under the age of 18, and include children as young as 12 or 13. 90% of the children are also subjected to torture, ill-treatment, pressure, and bargaining.

Qaraqe also said that Israel treats the children as constant threats or "ticking bombs" as the Israeli law puts it. Classifying a child as a "ticking bomb" grants the Israeli prison system the ability to apply certain forms of torture and bypasses International law, effectively stripping the children of their immunity. He also said that since Israel does not respect International law in relation to detained children, the institutions of the international community form a campaign to protect the children of Palestine.

Qaraqe statements came during his speech at the celebration of the completion of summer camps for the children of prisoners and martyrs, organized by the Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture.

More than 200 children, along with the families of prisoners and martyrs and the head of the Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture, Dr. Mahmoud Sahwil, participated in the celebration.

Sahwil welcomed the attendees and announced that this celebration, titled "A Step Toward the Future," is a challenge to the occupation; an occupation which works towards the destruction of Palestinians through arrests and repressive measures against the Palestinian people and by depriving children of the natural right to live in dignity.

Gifts were distributed to the participating children after they performed several plays, popular songs, and al-Dabkeh (a traditional dance).

There are currently 280 children detained in Israeli prisons, and a number of these children, especially from the Jerusalem areas, are sentenced with house arrests or deportation.

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