U.N. report says Israel mistreats minors

JERUSALEM, March 6 (UPI) -- A U.N. Children's Fund report says Israel's ill-treatment of Palestinian children in custody appears "systematic and institutionalized."

The 22-page report, "Children in Israeli Military Detention -- Observations and Recommendations," released Wednesday harshly criticized Israel's handling of Palestinian minors taken into custody.


The report is based on more than 400 documented cases since 2009.

"Ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized. This conclusion is based on the repeated allegations about such treatment over the past 10 years and the volume, consistency and persistence of these allegations," the report said.

In response to the report Israel's Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it would study the conclusions and work to implement them.

The Children's Fund estimated approximately 700 Palestinian children each year, ages 12 to 18 and mostly male, are arrested, questioned and detained by Israeli army, police and security agents.

Examples of violations of children's rights include shackling children, denying bail, transferring them out of Palestinian-controlled areas to serve sentences in Israel, which isolates them from their families and interrupts their studies, the report asserts.

To alleviate the situation, the organization recommended:


-- children be informed of the reasons for their arrest at the time they are detained in a language they understand;

-- a legal guardian or close family member be informed of the arrest, and

-- all arrests of children be conducted in daylight and all relevant documents concerning the arrest provided to a close family member of legal guardian and that documents be written in Arabic.

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