US Demands End to Israel Abuse of Palestinian Children

US Demands End to Israel Abuse  of Palestinian ChildrenUS Demands End to Israel Abuse  of Palestinian Children

Nineteen US Democrats urged Secretary of State John Kerry to stress the rights of Palestinian children during Washington’s relations with Tel Aviv.

“Israel’s military detention system targeting children is an anomaly in the world,” said a letter co-signed by 19 lawmakers, and released by Rep. Betty McCollum. “Secretary Kerry, we urge the Department of State to elevate the human rights of Palestinian children to a priority status in our bilateral relations with the government of Israel,” World Bulletin reported.

A UNICEF report on the treatment of children in Israel’s custody that was released in 2013 found that each year roughly 700 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17, mostly boys, are “arrested, interrogated and detained by Israeli army, police and security agents.”

It noted that the majority of children who are prosecuted in Israel’s military courts are charged with throwing stones. The maximum penalty for the charge is 10 years imprisonment for children aged 14-15 years old if the object is thrown at a person or property. But if the target is a moving vehicle, the charge skyrockets to 20 years imprisonment, according to the report.

According to rights groups, “Israeli security services continued to abuse, and in some cases torture, to coerce confessions from minors who they frequently arrested on suspicion of stone-throwing,” the report said.