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200 cases submitted to UN linking settlements and detention

[10 June 2015] - Today, MCW lodged a submission with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment annexing over 300 pages of evidence relating to the treatment of children held in Israeli military detention. The evidence includes the cases of 200 minors detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank between January 2013 and May 2015.

Following a review of the evidence the submission confirms an earlier finding by UNICEF that “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.” This finding is based on recent evidence that shows that intimidation, threats, verbal abuse, physical violence and the denial of basic legal rights are still commonplace within the system. The submission also confirms a recent finding by UNICEF that “reports of alleged ill-treatment of children during arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention have not significantly decreased in 2013 and 2014”.
Based on data provided by the Israeli military and the UN, the submission estimates that since martial law was imposed in the West Bank 48 years ago, some 95,000 children have been detained of which 59,000 are likely to have been subjected to some form of physical violence.
Based on the evidence, the submission also draws a link between this industrial scale abuse and the maintenance of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The submission concludes that in order to enable 370,000 Israeli civilians to live in the West Bank in violation of international law without serious interference, the military is required to adopt a strategy of mass intimidation and collective punishment.
The submission concludes by requesting the Special Rapporteur to consider two issues for further inquiry:
  1. Verification that the evidence supports the conclusion that the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system still appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized; and

  2. Confirmation of a causative link between the policy of successive Israeli governments of transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies and the detention of Palestinian minors.