Statement delivered at HRC53 on the situation of human rights in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) collected affidavits from 766 West Bank children detained between 2016 and 2022 that show three-quarters of them endured some form of physical violence following arrest. 97 percent of children had no parent present during interrogation, and two thirds were not properly informed of their rights. Israeli forces did not inform the children of the reason for their arrest in 85.5 percent of the cases.
Under Israeli military law, Palestinian child detainees have no right to a lawyer during interrogation. Israeli military court judges seldom exclude confessions obtained by coercion or torture, even those drafted in Hebrew, a language that most Palestinian children do not understand. In fact, military prosecutors rely, sometimes solely, on these confessions to obtain a conviction.
The deprivation of liberty experienced by Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention and military court system is arbitrary by default because Israeli authorities systematically disregard and deny fundamental protections and guarantees concerning the right to a fair trial to the extent that nearly any deprivation of liberty as part of the military court system is of an arbitrary character.
We strongly urge all member states to:
- Demand Israeli authorities end the practice of arresting and prosecuting Palestinian children from the occupied West Bank;
- End complicity and financial and diplomatic support to the Israeli apartheid system; and
- Take urgent action to ensure accountability for violations by supporting efforts by the International Criminal Court to hold perpetrators accountable and by carrying out obligations under the Geneva Conventions or Rome Statute to exercise criminal jurisdiction and arrest persons alleged to have committed, or who ordered to have committed, international crimes
Read the full statement here