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Palestine UN envoy demands justice over Israel child abuse

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of a Palestinian child walking past a mural of children using an Israeli army watch tower as a swing ride, painted on the remains of a house that was destroyed by Israeli forces during their 50-day war on the besieged Gaza Strip last summer. (© AFP)

The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations (UN) has submitted an open letter to the UN Security Council, demanding justice over the Israeli regime’s persisting violations and abuse against Palestinian children.

“Every single day and in countless ways, Palestinian children are victims of Israeli human rights violations, with no child considered too young to be spared the oppression being meted out by the Israeli occupying forces and extremist settlers,” Ambassador Riyad Mansour wrote in the letter released late Saturday, Ma’an News Agency reported on Sunday.

The letter further added, “These crimes committed against our children are intolerable and unacceptable,” pointing out that abusing children by Israel is in violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws.

The complaint came just days after a seven-year-old Palestinian boy, Ahmad Zaatari, was interrogated by Israeli regime forces for nearly eight hours, in what Mansour described as “a horrifying and traumatic ordeal for a child of any age.”

According to the report, the seven-year-old was detained along with his 12-year-old cousin Muhammed Zaatari on April 29 in the neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Arrest and kidnap of Palestinian children is among daily Israel abuses against Palestinian communities in occupied territories. (File photo)

Neither of the children’s families were notified about where the boys had been taken until more than three hours after their detention, the letter added, saying that Ahmad was released four hours later, “terrified and hungry.”

In the letter, Mansour also called on the international community “to uphold its responsibilities and provide the necessary assistance and protection to Palestinian children and hold accountable the violators of international law.”

At the end of March, there were 182 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons, 26 of whom were 15 years old or younger, according to rights group Military Court Watch.

Another group, Defense for Children in Palestine, found that Palestinian children often arrive at Israeli interrogation centers blindfolded and bound; and over 75 percent of the children detained in 2014 endured some form of physical violence during arrest.

The Israeli regime detained 1,266 Palestinian children below the age of 15 in East al-Quds and the West Bank in 2014, according to a report by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which added that over 10,000 Palestinian children have been detained by Israeli forces since 2000.


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