UK Accuses Israel of Violating Rights of Palestinian Children (Your Tax dollars support Israels actions)

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    Jun 28, 2012 1:56 PM GMT
    Published on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by Common Dreams

    Israel sees Palestinian children as 'potential terrorists', Foreign Office panel finds

    - Common Dreams staff

    The British government's Foreign Office has accused Israel of illegal mistreatment of Palestinian children after a report by a delegation of senior British lawyers revealed unconscionable practices, such as hooding, solitary confinement and the use of leg irons.

    Israeli soldiers confront Palestinian school children during a protest at a checkpoint that the children have to cross daily on their way to school in the old city of Hebron. (Ma'an News) The report, Children in Military Custody, was released on Tuesday. The investigative team, funded and facilitated by the Foreign Office and the British consulate in Jerusalem, found that "undisputed facts" pointed to at least six violations of the UN convention on the rights of the child, to which Israel is a signatory.

    The report claims that youngsters are dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, have their wrists bound behind their backs, and are blindfolded and made to kneel or lie face down in military vehicles. The children are held in conditions that amount to torture, such as solitary confinement and no access to their parents.

    In a damning conclusion, the report points out repeated breaches of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

    In addition, Israel is a party to the Geneva Conventions, and bound by its obligations, yet Articles 76 and 65 of the 4th Geneva Convention were also found to have been breached, according to the report.

    Article 76 prohibits detainees from being transported to the country of the authority which has detained them. In this case, Palestinian children were found to have been transported from the West Bank into Israel.

    Article 65 states that any penal laws applied to prisoners in an occupied land must be translated into their own language. The lawyers said the Israeli authorities failed to translate Military Order 1676 from Hebrew into Arabic.

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    Jun 29, 2012 7:30 PM GMT
    "Among the report's recommendations are:

    • An end to night-time arrests, except in extreme and unusual circumstances.

    • Children should be told of their rights in their own language.

    • Children should never be blindfolded or hooded.

    • Single plastic hand ties should never be used.

    • The prohibition on violent, threatening or coercive conduct towards children should be strictly observed.

    • Children should not be shackled at any time.

    • Any confession in a language other than the child's own should not be accepted as evidence.

    • Solitary confinement should never be used "as a standard mode of detention or imprisonment".

    • All Palestinian children should be held in facilities in the occupied territories, and not transferred to Israel, a breach of article 76 of the fourth Geneva convention.

    In conclusion, the report says: "It may be that much of the reluctance to treat Palestinian children in conformity with international norms stems from a belief, which was advanced to us by a military prosecutor, that every Palestinian child is a 'potential terrorist'. Such a stance seems to us to be the starting point of a spiral of injustice."