Israel Arrests 44 Palestinian’s Every Single Day (5 of them children) For 48 Years
In late 2014 the top brass of the British army were in serious disagreement with each other over the purpose of why British troops were sent to fight in Afghanistan and indeed of the whole enterprise
The same can be said of Iraq. The purpose of the Chilcot Inquiry was to ask exactly the same question – “how and why did Britain go to war”.
In both these conflicts there is a common denominator – lack of clarity as to why Britain waged war on largely defenceless civilians. Back in March this year, the Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) released a landmark study concluding that the death toll from 10 years of the “War on Terror” since the 9/11 attacks (where the victim toll was 2,977), could be as high as 2 million.
Yet the international community has clarity on one Middle Eastern country. Since 1948, Israel has engaged in thirteen conflicts against neighbouring countries, often involving multiple adversaries such as; Egypt (5 times) Iraq (3 times), Jordan (2 times), Syria (4 times), Lebanon (2 times), Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait and Tunisia.
In 1948, Israel killed nearly 20,000 Palestinians and several thousand Arab soldiers; thousands more were killed in 1956-7. In 1973 15,000 Egyptians, 6,000 Jordanians and 1,000 Syrians were killed and more than a half million Palestinians were displaced.
In 1978 1,200 Lebanese and Palestinians were killed by the Israeli’s.
Israel and pro-Israel rightist and Christian factions massacred 17,825 Arabs under the leadership of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who was famous for saying, “When I see dead Palestinians, while I am on the tank, I feel so happy.” For three days, Muslim Arabs were murdered, raped and brutally executed.
1,440 Palestinians were murdered in just two days back in 2009 after intensive attacks and Operation Protective Edge last summer brought the graphic details to the world when another 2100 Palestinians were killed. Civilians took the full force of Israel’s aggression where 1,462 innocents were killed, 495 of them were children.
In that time, Israel too has seen around 10,900 soldiers and 3,349 civilians killed by conflict.
Israel’s continued aggression towards the Palestinians leaves over 4 million deprived of ALL the human rights listed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nearly one million Palestinian children are confined without charge or trial to what the Catholic Church and many others have described as Israel’s Gaza Concentration Camp for the asserted “crime” of being Indigenous Palestinians living in a tiny, remorselessly bombed patch of Palestine.
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Since June 1967, ‘Military Court Watch’ stated in it’s 2015 report that it is conservatively estimated that at least 760,000 Palestinian men, women and children or nearly 16,000 each year have been arrested and detained by the Israeli military.
The Israeli military authorities themselves have confirmed that out of approximately 8,000 Palestinians detained for alleged ‘security offences’ in the single year of 2013, 1,004 were minors below the age of 18 – representing 12.5 per cent of the total.
During the past 48 years reports of ill-treatment, as defined by the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Convention), within Israel’s military detention system have been commonplace. Concerns regarding these allegations and the application of military law in the West Bank have been raised by multiple institutions and bodies in recent years, including: the US State Department; governments of the UK, Netherlands, Slovenia and Ireland; UN Secretary-General; UN Human Rights Committee; UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; UN Committee against Torture; as well as numerous international and local rights’ organisations.
Data provided by the Israeli military and the UN has revealed that since martial law was imposed on the occupied West Bank in 1967, around 95,000 Palestinian children have been arrested by Israel, an average of more than 5 children per day.
Around two thirds of them or almost 60,000 children are believed to have been subjected to some form of physical abuse whilst in detention.
The details were revealed in a report submitted by rights group Military Court Watch (MCW) to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Over 300 pages of evidence relating to the treatment of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention were included in the report.
It focused on evidence that included the details of 200 children arrested by the Israeli military in the West Bank between January 2013 and May this year. This was also confirmed by an investigation by UNICEF that stated “the ill-treatment of children, who come in contact with the military detention system, appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalised.”
The UNICEF report went further to say ” It is understood that in no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights.”
Middle East Monitor reported that According to the rights group, this finding is based on recent evidence that shows that intimidation, threats, verbal abuse, physical violence and the denial of basic legal rights are still commonplace within the system. Based on the evidence, the submission also drew a link between this industrial scale abuse and the maintenance of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.”
It concluded that in order to enable 370,000 Israeli settlers to live in the West Bank in violation of international law without serious interference, the military is required to adopt a strategy of mass intimidation and collective punishment.”
All children prosecuted for offences they allegedly committed should be treated in accordance with international juvenile justice standards, which provide them with special protection – because they are children. Most of these protections are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These are not provided to the Palestinian children who are systematically ‘kidnapped’, illegally detained and then placed in a system that abuses them all one way or another.
In reality, only three countries within the 193 countries represented in the United Nations have not ratified this Convention: the United States (because some States wish to retain the right to execute children), Somalia and South Soudan. But Israel is a signatory.
During the previous two years there has been a significant level of official Israeli activity in response to UNICEF reports including an ongoing dialogue process, amendments to the military law and the re-issuance of standard operating military procedures.
However, UNICEF noted in February 2015 that “reports of alleged ill-treatment of children during arrest, transfer and interrogation and detention have not significantly decreased in the last two years.
In the meantime, the international community and especially that of the United Nations stands idle, knowing that Israel is accused of abducting, kidnapping or arresting another five children each and every day, then abusing them at an appalling rate by one of its own member states. What does that say say about it as an organisation.
Perhaps it says they don’t care. In 6 out of 12 country studies on sexual exploitation of children in situations of armed conflict, the arrival of peacekeeping troops has been associated with a rapid rise in child prostitution, particularly UN peacekeepers.
Gita Sahgal, prize winning journalist and director of documentaries centred around Human Rights abuse observed: “The issue with the UN is that peacekeeping operations unfortunately seem to be doing the same thing (sexual exploitation of children) that other militaries do. Even the guardians have to be guarded.”
Sahgal is right. Such is the focus on the UN and its track record of ‘peacekeeping’ and abuse of minors that just a few days ago, even Fox News ran with the headline “Key US senator ratchets up urgency on UN sex abuse scandal” where a “culture of impunity” that the U.N.’s own experts have said still permeates the far-flung peacekeeper operations.