Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) and the Addameer prisoner support and human rights group explain Israel arrests, prosecutes, imprisons and mistreats around 700 Palestinian children annually, some aged 12 or younger.

Virtually none are targeted and abused for anything more than a minor misdemeanor, most entirely innocent of any offense. Once charged, guilt is automatic.

With 50 times the Israeli Arab and Palestinian population, it’s the equivalent of America imprisoning around 35,000 children each year.

DCIP calls it “no way to treat a child. Help us end this,” explaining “(f)rom the moment of arrest, Palestinian children encounter ill-treatment and torture at the hands of Israeli forces. Three out of four experience physical violence during arrest or interrogation.”

“Israel is the only country in the world to automatically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic safeguard for a fair trial.”

Israel holds around 7,000 Palestinian prisoners, largely for political reasons, including 68 women and 438 children – 98 under age 16.

According to Human Rights Watch Israel and Palestine director Sari Bashi, “Palestinian children are treated in ways that would terrify and traumatize an adult.”

Addameer explains brutal interrogations can last up to 90 days, including torture, sexual assaults, isolation in solitary confinement and other abuses to force confessions in Hebrew victims don’t understand – in most cases for offenses never committed or ones too minor to matter.

Horrific Israeli treatment of Palestinians of all ages and both genders flagrantly violates fundamental international law standards.

Palestinian prisoners are systematically deported from their homeland to Israel, violating Fourth Geneva – prohibiting transfer of occupied people to the territory of the occupier.

Under Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, it’s a war crime.

Israel operates lawlessly with impunity. Nations obligated to intervene responsibly under international law do nothing to help long-suffering Palestinians.

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