HRW accused Israel for “abusive arrests” of Palestinian children

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday accused Israeli security forces of “abusive arrests” of Palestinian children as young as 11.

The rights group issued the accusations after US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter had visited to Israel.

The accusation described as “Israeli security forces have used unnecessary force to arrest or detain Palestinian children and have choked children, thrown stun grenades at them, beaten them in custody, threatened and interrogated them without the presence of parents or lawyers, and failed to let their parents know their whereabouts.”

Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director of HRW, urged the United States to pressure Israeli ally to end “abusive practices.”

Israel’s military and justice ministry responded to the accusations and maintained that “security officials had adhered to the law in all cases, including by informing the children of their rights,” as HRW said.

One of the cases, 11-year-old Rashid S, was arrested in east Jerusalem in November, said officers put a bag over his head, kicked him and verbally abused him. Rashid was also accused of throwing stones during the months before and after July-August war in the Gaza Strip.

Another case in the West Bank, 14-year-old girl Malak al-Khatib was violently arrested on suspicion of throwing stones at a road of Jewish settlers as her mother Khoula said.

“Four officers beat her with something like a baton during Malak’s arrest and they kicked her and one officer stepped on her neck until she lost consciousness,” the mother said.

Palestinian families said that Israeli officers “did not inform parents of the child’s arrest and interrogated the children without permitting them to speak to a parent or lawyer.”

Three children said they signed confessions written in Hebrew that language they do not understand after interrogators threatened them.
Children urinated on themselves out of fear during the arrests, and had nightmares afterwards as HRW said.