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Report: Detained Palestinian Children Face Staggering Rate of Violence

Growing up Palestinian in the Israel-occupied West Bank means enduring brutality, night arrests, and solitary confinement

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Israeli occupation forces detain a Palestinian youth in the West Bank city of Hebron on 22 September 2013, during protests against road closures for the benefit of Jewish settlers. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz / APA images) Palestinian children detained in 2013 by Israeli military forces faced violence in the hands of their captors at shocking rates, a new report finds.

Three out of four Palestinian children detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank last year were forced to endure physical violence during their arrests and interrogations, reveals the Defense for Children International-Palestine in a study released Thursday

Furthermore, night arrests jumped to 56.1 percent from 45.2 in 2012, according to 98 affidavits by children between the ages of 12 and 17 that were analyzed by DCI-Palestine. Israeli forces held children in solitary confinement for an average of ten days in 21.4 percent of all cases.

DCI-Palestine's findings follow a year-end review by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel highlighting reports of widespread torture of Palestinian prisoners, many of them children, including placing prisoners in outdoor cages during winter.

Between 500 and 700 Palestinian children are tried in Israeli military courts each year, where they are denied due process. A majority of these children are charged with throwing stones, DCI-Palestine reports.

“Despite international condemnation and awareness of Israel’s widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian child prisoners, there have been no practical steps taken to curb violations,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCI-Palestine, in a statement about the findings. “The international community must demand justice and accountability.”

Along with the study, the group also released this short film documenting the crisis:

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