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Israel torturing Palestinian children in detention centers, treating them as criminals: Fatah leader

In this file picture, Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian boy during clashes in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil. (Photo by Reuters)

A leader of the Palestinian Fatah resistance movement says the Israeli regime is keeping hundreds of prisoners, including children, behind bars in prisons, stating that the minor detainees are subjected to various forms of torture and Israeli prison officials deal with them as criminals.

On Monday, Dr. Ayman al-Raqab, who is also a professor of political science at Quds University, denounced the Tel Aviv regime’s gross mistreatment of Palestinian children and flagrant violation of their rights, stating that the condition of Israeli detention centers and relevant policies contradict international principles and regulations.

Raqab noted that Israeli officials have subjected a number of jailed Palestinian children, including teenage girls, to brutal forms of torture, and treat them as serious criminals even though they are not of legal age.

Earlier this month, a Palestinian prisoners advocacy group said Israeli military forces arrested more than 750 Palestinian children during arrest campaign across the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds since the beginning of the current year

The Palestinian Prisoners' Society (PPS) said in a statement on November 19 that 160 children are still being held behind bars in Israeli detention centers, stating that some of the minors were first shot and injured before they were detained.

Among the detainees are three girls, of whom two are 16 years old and the third is 17, and five others, who are held in administrative detention.

The so-called administrative detainees are arrested on “secret evidence”, unaware of the accusations against them, and are not allowed to defend themselves in court. They are usually held for renewable six-month periods, often leading to years in detention.

Israeli authorities use torturous techniques even after transferring Palestinian detainees for interrogation and then to detention centers. Advocacy groups have also recorded various injuries endured by Palestinian detainees, some of whom were shot by the Israeli military.

Palestinian prisoners are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted, which is in sheer violation of human rights. Human rights groups describe Israel’s use of the administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to end its use.

The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) keeps Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. They have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

According to the Palestine Detainees Studies Center, about 60% of the Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails suffer from chronic diseases, a number of whom died in detention or after being released due to the severity of their cases.

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