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UN: 'Cruel and inhuman' abuse of Palestinian children by Israel'

By Brett Wilkins published Mar 8, 2013.  

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has released a report alleging "widespread, systematic and institutionalized" mistreatment of Palestinian children detained and imprisoned by Israel, abuse described as "cruel and inhuman."

The 22-page UNICEF report (, "Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations," offers advice on measures Israel can take to ensure that children detained during the ongoing 7-decade occupation of Palestine are treated in accordance with UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (, a legally binding agreement to which Israel is signatory, the UN Convention Against Torture (, and other international standards.

The report found that more than 7,000 Palestinian children between ages 12 and 17 have been arrested, interrogated and prosecuted for resisting Israeli occupation and associated policies and actions over the past decade. An average of two children per day are detained by Israeli forces, usually for throwing rocks at occupation troops. For children aged 12 and 13, the maximum legal term of imprisonment is six months. But for older children, convictions can result in imprisonment for as long as 20 years, according to the report.

"In no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights," the report states.

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