Saturday, January 16, 2021

Israel approves law that allows imprisonment of East Jerusalem youth under 14

By Josh F. - August 04, 2016
Section: [Main News] [Behind Bars]
Tags: [arrests] [Israeli law] [Israeli Justice System] [child arrests] [Jerusalem]

The Israeli Knesset passed a bill into law on Wednesday allowing for the imprisonment of Palestinian youth under 14 in East Jerusalem for acts of terrorism.

According to Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program Director for the NGO Defense for Children International in Palestine, terrorism in this case refers either to murder or attempted murder.

The law targets East Jerusalem youth who allegedly attempted attacks on Israeli civilians and military personnel.

“We believe that this new law is a discriminatory law,” Abu Eqtaish told Palestine Monitor.

Yet in the West Bank, Palestinian children live under Israeli military law and are eligible for imprisonment from the age of 12. In addition, a law was passed a year ago that allows sentencing anyone - including children - for up to 20 years for throwing stones if intent to harm could be proven, and up to 10 years without proof of intent.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah slammed the new law in a statement, calling it a “disregard for children’s rights.”

“This makes Israel the sole country in the world where children are systematically tried in military courts and subject to torture, inhumane treatment and punishment, according to a report by UNICEF,” read the statement.
Ma’an News reported that the bill, labeled the “Youth Bill,” was introduced into the Knesset by MK Anat Berko (Likud). It passed with 32 in favor, 16 against, and one abstention.

We believe that this new law is a discriminatory law.

Berko called the new law a “necessity,” citing “a wave of terror.”

“A society is allowed to protect itself. To those who are murdered with a knife in the heart it does not matter if the child is 12 or 15,” she said.

According to Israeli human rights watch group B’Tselem, 414 Palestinian minors were held as security detainees and prisoners as of April 2016.

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