UN officials condemn arbitrary arrest of Palestinian children

Hundreds of Palestinian children were detained by Israel in 2017, some without charges. (photo: Reuters)

UN reports at Human Rights Council in Geneva show Palestinian living conditions severely worsening over the past year.

By Barbara Bibbo | Al Jazeera | Mar 20, 2018

“Half a century of occupation has taken a heavy toll on the human rights of virtually every Palestinian, regardless of where in the occupied territory they reside. The feelings of despair among Palestinians in the face of these developments cannot be overstated. . . . [Human rights violations include] home demolitions and forced evictions, restricted access to services, threats of violence — including violence at the hands of settlers — restrictions on freedom of movement, and a strict residency regime for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem.”
— Kate Gilmore, the UN deputy high commissioner for human rights

United Nations officials condemned the continued arbitrary detention of Palestinian children by Israel saying the practice has become “systematic and widely spread.”

A series of UN reports presented at the Human Rights Council shows how the living conditions of Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza have dramatically worsened over the past year, and how children are bearing the brunt of the Israeli occupation, said Kate Gilmore, the UN deputy high commissioner for human rights.

ÆThe past year saw hundreds of Palestinian children detained by Israel, some without charge under administrative detention,Æ Gilmore said, addressing the council in Geneva on Tuesday.

“The impact of the conflict on the lives of children is entirely unacceptable. In this year alone, six children have been shot and killed in the context of protests.”

In November 2017, 313 Palestinian minors were imprisoned with 729 children detained in East Jerusalem alone throughout last year.

Michael Lynk, special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, said on Monday the deteriorating situation for Palestinian children was particularly “disturbing.”

Under the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, the incarceration of a child should be used only as a last resort.

“Yet, the deprivation of liberty of Palestinian children by Israel is institutionalized, systematic, and widely spread,” said Lynk, addressing member states.

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