CMEP Bulletin: Congressional Spotlight on Child Detentions
Congress Bill Seeks to Prevent US Funding of Israel’s Detention of Palestinian Children [The Jerusalem Post]
The Jerusalem Post reports, “The legislation introduced Tuesday by Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat, has at least nine co-sponsors. It would require the secretary of state to certify annually that US assistance to Israel has not been used in the previous year to militarily detain, interrogate or abuse Palestinian children. … A number of progressive and religious organizations have endorsed the legislation, including Churches for Middle East Peace and Jewish Voices for Peace. … A 2017 report by the Military Court Watch nonprofit that monitored the treatment of more than 450 minors in Israeli military detention between 2013 and 2016 found that last year, 60 percent of the minors arrested reported experiencing physical violence at the hands of their detainers and 43 percent reported verbal violence.”
‘First-Ever’ Bill on Palestinian Child Rights Introduced in US Congress [Middle East Eye]
“[O]n Tuesday, a group of Democratic representatives introduced a bill that could ensure that any US assistance is not used to harm Palestinian children in Israeli custody. … While the bill is focused on military aid to Israel, it doesn’t adjust, cut or impact the actual military aid committed. But supporters believe its introduction is much needed because any criticism of Israel remains taboo in Congress. … The bill’s supporters are expecting some push-back from various figures, especially as Israel wages a campaign against BDS, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement that seeks to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands,” according to Middle East Eye.
The Arrest And Abuse Of Palestinian Children Has To Stop [The Forward]
Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro writes, “A 2013 report published by the Department of State found that Israeli security services abuse, and in some cases torture, minors to coerce confessions of stone throwing. … They have to force these confessions because young children are often not the rock throwers themselves; rather, they are the easiest targets for soldiers to catch. … Then, upon being promised they will get to go home, these children sign their names to confessions written in Hebrew, which they cannot speak or read. Instead of release, though, they are taken to the detention center and booked. Many of the detention centers are located inside Israel, so their families must apply for a special permit to visit them. Often, the permits are delayed or denied. … [T]his bill represents the first step towards protecting the most vulnerable among us in Palestine.”