Below is yet another story of the brutalisation of a Palestinian child. Muhammad
al-Hashlamoun is just 15 years old but he has been put in administrative
detention, i.e. detention without trial, beaten up and treated like a member of
the untermenschen (the lower races in Nazi Germany).
If Muhammad was a Jewish boy he would not, of course,
be subject to this shameful behaviour.
He would have a lawyer, an adult accompanying him at all interviews, he
wouldn’t be in administrative detention in an adult gaol and he wouldn’t, because
no Israeli Jewish child ever is, physically abused.
International is demanding the release of 17-year-old Palestinian Muhammad al-Hashlamoun
who has been sentenced to six months of detention without charge or trial by
Israeli occupation forces.
present al-Hashlamoun is one of two minors in administrative
by Israel, which rights groups say amounts to arbitrary detention
under international human rights law and violates the UN Convention on the
Rights of the Child. Four other children were released in January.
putting Palestinian children in administrative detention last October, resuming
a practice that had reportedly not been used since 2011.
that Israeli forces took Muhammad al-Hashlamoun from his home in the occupied
East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amoud in the early morning hours of 3
40 Israeli Border Police and agents from the Israel Security Agency, also known
as Shin Bet
the building that houses his family’s apartment.
Israeli armed men “went into the apartment of Muhammad al-Hashlamoun’s uncle
first, and dragged the uncle from his bed into the street without letting him
dress,” Amnesty states.
was reportedly beaten
18 days in the Jerusalem interrogation center known as the Russian Compound
Muhammad was questioned about planning attacks, which he denied.
to his detention, occupation authorities had raided his home on an almost daily
basis to question him about his activities.
two hearings in civilian courts, the teenager was sentenced to house arrest for
one week and a fine of about $1,260. Instead, Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli defense
minister intervened and issued a six-month administrative detention order the
rights have been further violated by moving him to Megiddo prison in the north
of present-day Israel.
a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, which is part of the occupied West Bank
according to international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention requires that
Muhammad not be taken out of the occupied territory.
Muhammad’s mother visited him in Megiddo, Amnesty says, she found him “tired
is not Muhammad’s first time in prison. In 2014 he served a 101-day sentence
after being accused of throwing stones.
the end of last year, minors made up about one
fifth of all Palestinians
detained since the escalation of violence that
began in October, a significant portion of whom are from East Jerusalem.
to testimonies collected by human rights groups, Palestinian minors routinely
face physical and emotional abuse while in Israeli custody in order to force
confessions or extract information.
compiled last year by Defense for Children International–Palestine found that
three out of four Palestinian children experienced physical violence after
their detention by Israeli forces.
have reported beatings, strip searches, painful stress positions, threats,
sleep deprivation and solitary confinement – abuses amounting to torture.
prolonged interrogations without a parent or legal counsel present, Palestinian
children have frequently reported being forced to sign confessions in Hebrew, a
language they do not understand.
by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem found that Palestinian children detained
in the occupied West Bank were systematically subjected to torture and severe
physical violence, including threats of rape, in order to force them to confess
to Israeli accusations, especially stone throwing.
months is the maximum sentence for administrative detention, but terms can be
addition to being held without charge, administrative detainees are unable to
see the evidence against them, making it impossible to mount a legal defense.
practice, first introduced by British colonial authorities and continued by
Israel, was ostensibly intended as an emergency measure to arrest those who
posed an extreme and imminent threat.
of January, Israel was holding a total of 660 Palestinian administrative
prisoners rights group Addameer.
this form of imprisonment violates international standards of due process for
adults, children – defined as individuals under age 18 – have even greater
protections against arbitrary detention.
to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Israel is a
signatory, “No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or
detention of a child “shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for
the shortest appropriate period of time.”
moreover, “have the right to challenge the legality of their detention before a
court or other competent, independent and impartial authority and have the
right to a prompt decision on any challenge.”
are rights Israel, as in the case of Muhammad al-Hashlamoun, habitually denies
a rare step last year year, 19 members of the US Congress, called
the Obama administration to push Israel to end the systematic abuses of
Palestinian children in detention.
it “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” the lawmakers described Israel’s military
detention of Palestinian children as an “indefensible abuse of human rights.”