UN investigator calls for increased protection for children in West Bank, Gaza Strip

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on human rights for the West Bank and Gaza Strip [UNICEF backgrounder], Richard Falk called Thursday, called [press release] for better guidelines on the treatment of Palestinian youth [UN News Centre report] arrested by the Israeli military. in a report to the General Assembly's human rights committee, Falk expressing concern about reports of violence against children during arrest [AP report] and detention:

Since 2007, the number of Palestinian children arrested and prosecuted has risen each year, and there is abundant evidence of child abuse associated with interrogations and arrests of children. Arrest procedures documented include arrests in the middle of the night, removal of child from parents for questioning, abusive treatment in detention, and conviction procedures that appear to preclude findings of not guilty.
Falk indicated prolonged occupation is deforming child development because of "pervasive deprivations affecting health, education, and overall security." The special rapporteur urged Israel to adopt guidelines in line with international humanitarian and human rights standards.

Israel has faced ongoing criticism from the UN and international human rights groups for its action in the Palestinian territories, which have been under Israeli military control since 1967. Last month, Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey will sue Israel [JURIST report] in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] over the legality of Israel's Gaza Strip blockade. Also last month, the UN criticized Israel for using excessive force [JURIST report] during a May 2010 flotilla incident [JURIST news archive], in which Israeli forces raided several Turkish ships bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip. In June, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned the killings of between 30 and 40 protesters [Reuters report] which had been killed by Israeli security forces along the ceasefire line between occupied borders. Nearly 20 civilian protesters were reportedly killed during a protest on June 5 marking the anniversary of the 1967 Middle East war [NPR backgrounder]. In January, a UN official alleged [JURIST report] that Israeli authorities had committed several illegal acts in the Palestinian territories since the start of the year, making the prospect of a viable Palestinian state unlikely.

 

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