The risks continue to grow for detained Palestinian children.
By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | Mar 20, 2020
‘There is no way Israeli prison authorities can ensure the health and well-being of Palestinian child detainees as long as they continue to be in a custodial detention setting.’
— Ayed Abu Eqtaish, DCIP Accountability Program director
Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) is calling on the Israeli government to release all Palestinian child detainees amid the COVID-19 crisis. According to Ha’aretz, Israel has confirmed over 700 cases of COVID-19 and four Palestinian prisoners, being held at Megiddo prison, have been in contact with an Israeli officer who tested positive for the virus.
“Israeli authorities must take immediate action to release all Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centers due to the increasing vulnerability created due to the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus and to safeguard their right to life, survival, development, and health in accordance with international law,” reads the group’s press release.
Along with the American Friends Service Committee, DCIP has been pressuring the Israeli government to drop its child detention policy for years, through its No Way to Treat a Child campaign. According to DCIP, approximately 10,000 Palestinian children have been detained by Israeli forces since 2000. From the testimonies of 739 Palestinian children detained by Israel over a five-year period, DCIP found that 73% of them experienced physical violence after their arrest.