Update: Israel cages Palestinian children in outdoor holding pens during freezing storm

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(Updated with new graphic from Carlos Latuff  “A #cartoon to @Mondoweiss – #Israel cages Palestinian children in outdoor during freezing storm”) :

 A #cartoon to @Mondoweiss – #Israel cages Palestinian children in outdoor during freezing storm

Israel cages Palestinian children outdoors during freezing storm (Graphic: Carlos Latuff)

Once again Israel has been accused of torturing children. This time the state has been accused of caging Palestinian children in outdoor holding pens during the recent freezing winter storm. Lawyers from Israel’s Public Defender’s Office (PDO) visited a prison in Ramla during the storm and published a report on their website.

The IndependentIsrael government ‘tortures’ Palestinian children by keeping them in cages, human rights group says:

“public caging”, threats and acts of sexual violence and military trials without representation…..”

“During our visit, held during a fierce storm that hit the state, attorneys met detainees who described to them a shocking picture: in the middle of the night dozens of detainees were transferred to the external iron cages built outside the IPS transition facility in Ramla,” the PDO wrote on its website.

“It turns out that this procedure, under which prisoners waited outside in cages, lasted for several months, and was verified by other officials.”

This information came to light at a recent hearing of the Knesset’s Public Petitions Committee on December 31st. An Israeli NGO, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), claimed this torture is a longstanding issue in a report (pdf) reminding the committee “that torture and ill treatment are absolutely prohibited and that Israel’s legislature must anchor this prohibition in its domestic law. ”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni heard about it and intervened; “immediately telephoned Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, telling him to end the practice.”

Shockingly, the Jerusalem Post reported members of the committee claimed they “lacked data…about the frequency and scope of those practices it objected to such as midnight arrests.”

That’s sort of hard to believe, haven’t they been paying attention?

April 2012 Defense for Children International issued an urgent appeal reporting torture was “common place” including interrogators using “severe acts of violence and threats of rape and electrocution.” (pdf)

June 2012 a British delegation of lawyers issued a report which garnered a lot of press, Children in Military Custody revealed “unconscionable practices, such as hooding and the use of leg irons.”

August 2012 Breaking the Silence Children and Youth Soldiers’ Testimonies 2005-2011. (pdf)

March 2013 UNICEF issued a 26 page report accusing Israeli forces of torturing Palestinian childrenChildren in Israeli Military Detention, Observations and Recommendations (pdf)

On the heals of the UNICEF’s March report U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child (OHCHR) issued a ‘progress report’ (pdf) alleging “systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture”, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor slammed the report claiming it was issued “only to grab headlines”!!

And then last October we reported UNICEF announced the Israeli military had agreed to test an “alternative treatment,” a “pilot-test” program reforming the way they arrest children in the West Bank. Instead of dragging them out of bed to arrest them in the middle of the night the pilot program would issue summons for the children. How’s that program coming along? Or was it merely an act of damage control ?

One would have to be living under a rock to be unaware Israel routinely tortures Palestinian children. The Independent reported “The committee also took issue with the fact that the government appeared not to keep records of the frequency or scope of disputed practices like midnight arrests.”

Perhaps the government should start reading the varying reports!

The Givon prison in Ramla (Photo by Nir Keidar)
Prison in Ramla (Photo by Nir Keidar)
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Israelis only get the ‘first’ , for children; the USA put Ezra Pound in an outside cage for headlines such as this one from Haarretz:

In 2014, American Jewish leaders might lose control of the Israel debate

Washington’s failure to clinch two-state deal would shift Palestinian focus to international groups and college campuses where organized Jewry holds little sway.
Jan 1,2014.

Can you just imagine how it must be for young children being dragged to this place at all hours of the night by uniformed criminal thugs who like to see themselves as “Most Moral”. Zionism and it,s craven apologists have much to answer for and that day will come. I look forward to seeing the oleg,s and yrns of this world in chains on their way to their future, locked up and kept in open… Read more »

Not collecting data on such things is always good policy:

1) It allows you to feign ignorance.
2) Data that are not collected cannot be leaked.
3) Lack of documentation will make it harder to prosecute you (if and when it comes to that).

One would have to be living under a rock to be unaware Israel routinely tortures Palestinian children.