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Home » Public statements »

Details emerge of UK offer to provide Israeli military authorities training on child detention

[5 April 2018] -In a recent debate in the UK parliament on the military detention of Palestinian children in the West Bank, the Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt, made reference to an offer made to the Israeli government to provide Metropolitan Police training around the detention of children.

Based on information provided by the Metropolitan Police, the offer was made by the FCO in 2016 to the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The FCO proposed that a Metropolitan Police delegation would travel to Israel to hold expert discussions with Israeli authorities, sharing their experience of implementing regulations designed specifically to protect the rights of minors in detention.
 
The offer was rejected by the Israeli authorities and according to the Metropolitan Police the FCO do not wish to disclose the content of private diplomatic conversations, and it is for the Israeli government to explain why they did not accept the offer. However, the FCO wish to make clear that the offer of sharing UK expertise remains open.
 
The UK offer of training is interesting as it appears to be based on an assumption that the widespread and systematic shortcomings in the military detention system are due to a lack of training as opposed to design. No such widespread and systematic shortcomings are present in the civilian juvenile justice system in Israel for Jewish children suggesting that a lack of training is not the issue.