Israel arrested 560 Palestinian minors in al-Quds in 2016: Committee

The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs says Israeli regime forces have detained 560 Palestinian children in East Jerusalem al-Quds so far this year.

Issa Qaraqe, the committee head, released the figure while speaking with the families of Palestinian child prisoners in the Shu’fat refugee camp on Tuesday.

Qaraqe said that Palestinian children younger than 12 were taken into Israeli custody in violation of human rights and international law.

He further noted that 110 minors are still being held in Israeli prisons, with 60 children under house arrest despite being released from jail.

Meanwhile, Amjad Abu Asab, the head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners, stressed that most Palestinian child prisoners were beaten and assaulted by Israeli regime forces.

Some of the minors were wounded and denied the right to have a family member present during their interrogation, he said, adding that the child prisoners are put under pressure that has “long term effects on their psyche.”

The father of Zayd al-Husseni, a minor who was detained by regime forces, said that his son was “beaten monstrously while 100 Israeli soldiers raided their home and also let police dogs assault [Zayd].”

The father of Majd Saaeda, a minor who fell into a coma in Israel’s Megiddo prison, called on international organizations and rights groups to “interfere immediately” to save his son’s life, and to release all kids in Israeli detention.

Last month, the rights group Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) published a report, analyzing 65 cases in which Palestinian minors were put behind bars and handed down prison sentences.

The DCIP report found that the vast majority – 87.7 percent – of the Palestinian youths were restrained during arrest.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners, among them 350 children, are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails.

Many of the detainees are held under the so-called administrative detention, which is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months.

The occupied Palestinian territories have been the scene of heightened tensions since August 2015, when the Tel Aviv regime imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in an alleged bid to change the status quo of the Muslim site.

Over 230 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada (uprising) since the beginning of last October.

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