Since the beginning of this year, the occupation prisons have witnessed a significant increase in the number of child prisoners languishing behind the bars of oppression and prison. With the arrival of World Children’s Day, more than 200 Palestinian children are still languishing in the occupation prisons.
Meanwhile, human rights reports documented the arrest of 880 children since the beginning of this year, including 145 children last October.
The detained children are distributed between Ofer, Megiddo, and Damoun prisons, in what is called the “Cubs Section,” including 26 children in administrative detention, which has no time limit or specific charge.
While the occupation was arresting women, its attacks against children and their arrests did not stop, as they continued before the flood of Al-Aqsa, but the extent of abuse, crime, and harassment of Palestinian children, and the transfer of some of them to solitary confinement, has increased.
It is noted in the media that the largest percentage of children’s arrests are among Jerusalemite children, who are treated like criminals, and stripped of Israeli law to put them in the category of enemies instead of juveniles and minors, as it tightens the conditions for their isolation or release, and deprives them of continuing their education by placing them in prison. At home, there is no distinction between a girl and a boy among them.
The occupation forces arrested 17-year-old student Aseel Shehadeh from the Qalandia camp in Jerusalem, after shooting her for no reason at the checkpoint and from a long distance, and then took her to arrest her in Ramla prison.
While administrative detention was limited to adults, the occupation expanded its scope to include more than 25 Palestinian children, most of whom were shot before their arrest, and all of whom were between the ages of (16-17), which opens the door to repeatedly extending their administrative detention and then transferring them. For actual arrest after they reach legal age.
Aside from what the lawyers report, no one can forget the leaks and videos that conveyed the investigation management mechanism and the occupation’s methods with the child Ahmed Manasra in the occupation prisons, including physical and psychological torture, severe violence, and continuous threats, which continue today until his solitary confinement and the prevention of his release, despite the deterioration of his health and psychological condition.
On the same level, there are children who were used as pressure tools to force their parents to surrender themselves to the occupation, such as the child of activist Najib Mafarja, who is only three years old, and was arrested from his home in Ramallah Governorate to pressure his father to surrender himself, which is what happened.
Inside the prisons there is another reality, the title of which is that what happens to adults in prisons also applies to women and children. Revenge, abuse, and confiscation of food, medicine, clothes, and books are a prevalent feature of prisons these days. According to one of the testimonies that was quoted from one of the detainees recently released from Megiddo prison, Adult detainees had to fast for several days, in order to provide food for child detainees.
The occupation’s implementation of these measures is based on the principle of its racist laws, which consider the Palestinian child an adult if he reaches the age of 16, in contrast to the children of the occupation, who are taken into account by the laws and their intervention within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which recognizes the age of 18 as a separator between childhood and youth. It calculates the age of the Palestinian child at the time of sentencing, as happened with many children who were arrested during childhood, and the occupation authorities deliberately issued sentences against them after they passed the age of childhood.
It is noteworthy that the occupation forces killed more than 5,000 Palestinian children during their aggression on Gaza, some of whom did not bear names and were only a few minutes old, and thousands of others were wounded, burned, and mutilated, and their limbs were amputated before they were more than six months old, in new proof of the brutality of the occupation and its war on everything. He is Palestinian. Even if it's a child.