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Alleged Mistreatment of Palestinian Children Should Be Investigated
Freedom House is deeply concerned by reports of mistreatment of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank for allegedly throwing rocks at Israelis. Many of these children reportedly have been harshly interrogated and denied access to a lawyer. Such incidents have been on the upswing in recent months, according to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.
Freedom House condemns stone throwing, which has resulted in serious injuries and even fatalities, as a tactic in the struggle for change. Freedom House calls on all participants in the struggle to strictly adhere to tactics of non-violence, and urges the Palestinian leadership to discourage stone throwing by children as a protest tactic.
Save the Children notes that Israeli detention of young children is not new. Israel has arrested and detained more than 8,000 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, since 2000 - mostly for throwing stones - and about 700 Palestinian children continue to be arrested annually.
Freedom House urges the Government of Israel to undertake a transparent review of its policies on the detention of children accused of criminal actions, review all allegations of mistreatment in detention, and respect the rights of Palestinian children in accordance with Israel’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.