Friday, February 12, 2016
Child Prisoners

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13-year-old Palestinian child prisoner, Ahmad Manasrah, faced an Israeli military court on 19 January – where he was told that his trial was postponed to 16th February. The Free Ahmad Manasrah campaign noted that this postponenment almost certainly came to ensure that the trial would ensue after Ahmad reaches his 14th birthday on 22 January.

Manasrah, run over by an Israeli car and was severely injured as he was kicked and cursed at by Israeli occupation settlers and police – all captured on video – is now facing an Israeli military court. There are nearly 500 Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons, and over 2,200 children were arrested in 2015; some detained for a few days and some pushed into the military court and prison system. Even brief detentions have a real impact on Palestinian children who are interrogated, often taken from their home in night-time raids, threatened and abused.

International attention to Manasrah’s case is growing. The international Free Ahmad Manasrah campaign protested outside the UNICEF office in Amman, Jordan, calling on UNICEF to take a stand on Manasrah and other imprisoned Palestinian children.

In Aarhus, Denmark, Palaestina Aktion held a vigil and candle-lighting for Manasrah on 18 January, addressing UNICEF and calling for international action on his case and that of other imprisoned Palestinian children. In addition, Danish activists will gather on Friday, 22 January at 7:00 pm at Foreningernes House in Gellerup, to mark Manasrah’s birthday and highlight the struggle of Palestinian children.

In Bergen, Norway, activists gathered on 18 January in Torgalmennigen, urging freedom for Manasrah and all imprisoned Palestinian children. Activists also called for building the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, highlighting the injustice of Israeli occupation and imprisonment against the Palestinian people. Actions have also been organized in Bristol, London, New York City and elsewhere highlighting Manasrah’s case.

For more information, please visit the Free Ahmad Manasrah campaign.

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A group of activists in Bristol, UK joined the international campaign to Free Ahmad Manasrah, projecting a video about the 13-year-old Palestinian boy’s severe injury, abusive interrogation, imprisonment and separation from his family at the hands of Israeli occupation forces on the city council building on Sunday, 17 January.

The large projections depicted Ahmad and the story of his imprisonment, calling for his freedom. The projections came as part of international actions, protests and letters to UNICEF calling for freedom for the imprisoned boy and the over 400 other Palestinian children joining him in Israeli prison.

See the full video projected on the council building and follow the Free Ahmad Manasrah campaign’s facebook page:

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is pleased to republish the following important article on the very serious and traumatic impact of arrest, detention, interrogation and imprisonment by the Israeli occupation on Palestinian children and youth.

By Dr. Samah Jabr 

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The Israeli parliament has recently approved a law that allows the sentencing of up to 20 years in prison for Palestinians who throw stones, individuals who are usually minors. This development was followed by a law that would allow for the imprisonment of Palestinian children as young as 12, if they are found guilty of “nationalistically-motivated” violent offences.

As a clinician, I am often confronted with adolescents whose social and psychological growth has been suspended by experiences of political detention. I observe that many such youths have become anxious and depressed following this experience, whereas others manifest stoicism and fail to express any emotion.

“Majed” (all names have been changed) is a boy of 14; he has been arrested 14 times and often beaten brutally in detention. On one occasion, the Israeli forces broke his teeth and inflicted a number of head injuries. Majed was brought to my clinic by an older sister who had just finished medical school. She explained that he did not listen to anyone at home, no longer respected his teachers and frequently missed school. Instead, he befriended men of 30 or 40 and accompanied them to spend time in coffee shops. I found in Majed an adolescent experiencing a hypertrophic growth of his status as a hero, at the expense of compromising other areas of personality development. This profile of adolescent ex-detainees is typical. Less commonly, we see reactions such as that of Mufeed, in whom the experience of detention brought a deeper destruction, at least with regard to his image of his father. Mufeed claimed that “the prison guard was better than my father; he gave me cigarettes to smoke.”

Majed and Mufeed are just two among the 700 Palestinian youths arrested each year. The average age of arrest is 15 and the average duration of their detention in prison is 147 days. Ninety per cent of these minors have been documented as having been exposed to traumatic experiences and sixty-five of them have developed diagnosable psychiatric disorders. For these minors and adolescents, the experience of arrest is superimposed upon a childhood already rendered difficult due to the Israeli occupation, in which social services and educational support systems are poor, nutrition and health care are inadequate and political violence is rampant.

Adolescence everywhere is characterised by an accelerated movement towards social independence and identity formation, as well as by emotional liability and impulsive behaviour. However, the context of the occupation makes the risks greater and the consequences heavier for Palestinian adolescents. Some youngsters find the dangers inherent to resistance to be more exciting than a passive surrender to oppression. Such young people empathise and identify with the suffering of the community as a group and seek to establish a special status for themselves by acting on its behalf. While adolescents elsewhere may romanticise and model themselves on media stars, some Palestinian adolescents romanticise freedom fighters, like the figure of Muhannad Elhalaby, who countered his sense of helplessness by grabbing the gun of an Israeli settler and killing two settlers in the midst of attacks on the mosque.

The reality of detention is a story of horror, helplessness and humiliation for minors. It is usual for dozens of armed soldiers and their dogs to invade the family home in the middle of the night, interrupting the sleep of the whole neighbourhood and demonstrating through their excessive aggression that resistance is meaningless. The child’s father is intimidated through threats to hand over his boy to the soldiers, and often does so despite the tearful pleas of the mother and siblings. Snatched in this way from his warm bed, the boy is exposed to unnecessary disorientation and physical violence as he is transferred to an unknown destination, often for an unknown reason as well. Typically he is handcuffed painfully and blindfolded, unable meanwhile to communicate with or to understand people who are shouting at him in Hebrew. He is slapped, kicked, punched and shoved as he is tied up and rendered completely powerless. Then, alone without a lawyer or a parent present, he is interrogated for a period of time extending from hours to weeks, with deprivation of relief for physiological needs such as the availability of food, drink, toilet facilities and sleep. He is exposed to excessive heat or cold, forced into the horror of witnessing others being tortured, and stripped naked before being subject to the same procedures himself.

Interrogators inflict guilt by threats made to his family members: “We will bring your mother and sisters here” and “We will demolish your home.” Leaving the horror to the child’s imagination, the interrogator might play with a rubber glove while telling the minor, “If you don’t tell us the names of your friends who throw stones, something really bad will happen to you.” Interrogators often threaten, “I’ll take you to room Number Four, where people enter on two legs and come out on all fours.” Detained youngsters are often told that their friends or neighbours have already informed on them and many break down in response to this lie; they end up signing their names to Hebrew documents that they are not able to read. Many such children and adolescents recall these moments especially with unbearable feelings of shame. These youngsters are then relegated to isolation and uncertainty within the hostile prison environment, where the passage of time and life processes are frozen. Here their human attachments are destroyed, as few families succeed in gaining permission to visit their children.

In March 2013, during a period of relative political calm, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) described the ill-treatment of Palestinian minors held in Israeli military detention centres as “widespread, systematic and institutionalised.” UNICEF examined the Israeli military court system and found evidence of “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.” There are reports of circumstances in which dogs were utilised to attack children; where children and adolescents were sexually violated; and where youngsters were forced to witness or to perform acts that degraded their religious symbols.

The process of arresting minors targets the future of the Palestinian nation. It is an attack on the body, the personality, the belief system, the hopes and the dreams of young Palestinians, rendering their families dysfunctional and breaking the bonds of their connection with their community.

Many of these minors emerge from prison unable to learn in school or to pursue a profession. In their eyes, their parents and teachers are damaged as authority figures. Their trust in their friends and neighbours is destroyed. Their own community may not trust them either, because other children would have been told that they had implicated them to their interrogators. They live with the ongoing and realistic fear of further detention. And the family often experiences the arrest of the minor as extremely traumatic; they feel guilty for failing to protect him and thereby may indeed grow incapable of guiding the minor in a safe journey from childhood to adulthood. Unable to develop, left without education or family guidance, many adolescents thus fail to develop a mature and multifaceted adult identity. The ex-detainee clings to his identity as a prisoner. Such youngsters are stuck in perpetual limbo, unable to return to the innocence of childhood or to move forward as functional adults.

A feeling of ineffectiveness often seeps into clinicians who treat these youngsters. The psychological consequences of minors’ arrest do not lend themselves to diagnostic labelling, pathologising and medicalising. These youngsters require us to act as witnesses, to join them in solidarity and to accompany them and their families in the exploration of the meaning of experience. It is our goal to help them reprocess this meaning, and to integrate it into their current life and in their plans for the future.

Hippocrates told doctors 25 centuries ago that we are not often able to cure; that we are sometimes able to treat; but that we are always able to offer comfort. We, clinicians, cannot liberate these children from Israeli prisons, but we may succeed in liberating them from the prison within as they come back to our community.

(Get involved in the creation of feature documentary, Behind the Fronts, about the psychological consequences of Israeli occupation.) 

– Samah Jabr is a Jerusalemite psychiatrist and psychotherapist who cares about the wellbeing of her community – beyond issues of mental illness. 

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Inminds’ Palestinian Prisoners Campaign organized a protest outside the London offices of G4S, the global security corporation that provides security systems and control rooms to Israeli prisons, checkpoints and police training centers, denouncing G4S’ role in the imprisonment of Palestinians. The protest focused in particular on Palestinian children and the call to free Ahmad Manasrah, the 13-year-old Palestinian boy whose ramming and abusive interrogation were captured on video.

The protest is part of ongoing actions against G4S; hundreds of Palestinian and international organizations have called upon the United Nations to stop doing business with the corporation, implicated in human rights violations in Palestine and elsewhere.

There is an international campaign to free Ahmad Manasrah and all Palestinian child prisoners, including protests and events around the world highlighting Manasrah’s case and calling for international action on Palestinian children’s imprisonment.

Inminds regularly organizes protests outside the London headquarters of G4S against its role in Palestine. There are over 470 Palestinian children imprisoned in Israeli jails.

“Most of these children are caged in G4S secured prisons. This week the British documentary programme Panorama revealed the British security contractor G4S’s abuse of children at a young offenders centre in the UK which has now lead to 5 arrests. As shocking as the revelations are, we want to say that Palestinian children’s lives also matter, and G4S’s complicity in the brutal on-going torture of Palestinian children must stop,” said the organizers.

Video:

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Monday, 18 January
7:00 pm
Festplassen, Christie’s Gate
Bergen, Norway
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1704823689741550/

Demonstration at Festplassen in support of Ahmad Manasrah and all Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel.

On 12 October 2015, a video was published on social media, showing the 13-year-old Ahmad Manasrah lying on the ground, profusely bleeding after being shot. While lying on the ground, unable to move, he is surrounded by Israeli settlers shouting insults at him. Israeli police are present but do not try to stop the settlers or address the boy’s injuries. Ahmad eventually rises to a sitting position but is kicked down again by a police officer. Paramedics were not allowed to provide assistance until Ahmad had lain on the ground for over an hour, and was then treated in the hospital for a week.

He was not allowed to see his family or have a lawyer present during his first interrogations; a video of one of those interrogations was also posted on social media as an interrogator yells abusively at Ahmad in attempting to extract a confession that Ahmad and his cousin attempted to commit “terrorist activities” before being shot. His cousin, Hassan, 15, was killed on the scene.

The case of Ahmad Manasrah is not unique. Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces in many cases are denied access to lawyers and visits with their families. Many reports indicate children being subjected to physical and psychological violence, threats of sexual violence, isolation and threats against their families. Most cases end through coerced confessions, and in many cases children are imprisoned. Children frequently sign confessions written in Hebrew, a language they do not understand. Since 2000, over 8000 Palestinian children have been held in Israeli jails. Each year, it can be expected that around 400 Palestinian children will be imprisoned by Israeli forces. Children deserve to live in a society that protects their rights and supports them.

Join the demonstration at Festplassen on 18 January at 7:00 pm to show your support for Ahmad Manasrah and the other Palestinian children in Israeli jails.

The demonstration is organized by the Palestine Committee.

Co-organizers: Alamal SV, Rodt, Student Palestine Committee, Fatah Bergen, Ship to Gaza, Fagforbundet Bergen, Norwegian People’s Aid, Norwegian People’s Aid Solidarity Youth, Bergen Student Christian Federation

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Demonstrasjon på Festplassen 18. Januar kl 19:00 til støtte for Ahmad Manasrah og palestinske barn som er sperret inne i israelsk fengsel.

12. Oktober 2015 blir en video publisert på sosiale media. Videoen viser den tretten år gamle palestinske gutten Ahmad Manasrah som ligger på bakken med blødninger fra hodet etter å ha blitt skutt. Liggende på bakken og ute av stand til å bevege seg, blir han omringet av israelske bosettere som roper skjellsord til han. Det israelske politiet er tilstede, men prøver ikke å stoppe bosetterene som skriker til gutten. Ahmad klarer etterhvert å reise seg til sittende stilling, men blir sparket ned igjen av en politikonstabel. Ambulansepersonell får ikke tillatelse av politiet til å gi assistanse før Ahmad har ligget på bakken i over en time. Han er bevisstløs når han kommer til sykehuset.

Med kraniebrudd og intrakranielle blødninger overføres Ahmad til varetekt etter en uke på sykehuset. Han får ikke lov til å se familien sin og han får heller ikke lov til å ha advokat tilstede under de første avhørene. Videoklipp som også er publisert på sosiale media viser en politikonstabel som bruker brutale avhørsteknikker for å tvinge frem en tilståelse om at Ahmad har utført terrorhandlinger før han ble skutt. Videoopptak viser derimot at Ahmad og hans fetter, Hassan, ble påkjørt og skutt. Hassan (15 år) døde på stedet.

Saken til Ahmad Manasrah er ikke unik. Palestinske barn som arresteres av israelske myndigheter får i mange tilfeller ikke tilgang til juridisk rådgivning og advokatbistand. De blir nektet å se familiene sine, og flere rapporter forteller om barn som utsettes for fysisk og psykologisk vold, isolasjon, trusler om seksuell vold, trusler om at familien deres vil bli straffet og skadet. Mange tilståelser skjer gjennom tvang og i de fleste tilfeller blir barnet dømt til fengsel. Ofte undertegner barna tilståelser som er skrevet på hebraisk, et språk de selv ikke forstår. Barn ned i 7-årsalderen har blitt varetektsfengslet i flere måneder av israelske myndigheter for steinkasting. Fra år 2000 av er det over 8000 palestinske barn som har sittet i israelsk fengsel. Hvert år kan man regne med at rundt 400 palestinske barn vil bli dømt til fengsel eller varetektsfengsles av israelske myndigheter. I disse tider legges det frem et forslag i Knesset om å kunne dømme barn fra 12 årsalderen for terrorhandlinger.

Barn har en rett til å leve i et samfunn som beskytter deres rettigheter og som gir dem trygghet. Vær med på demonstrasjonen på Festplassen den 18. Januar kl 19:00 for å vise din støtte til Ahmad Manasrah og de andre palestinske barna som nå er sperret inne i israelsk fengsel.

Demonstrasjonen er i regi av Palestinakomiteen. Medarrangører: Alamal, SV, Rødt, Palkom Student, Fatah Bergen, Ship to Gaza, Fagforbundet i Bergen, Norsk Folkehjelp, Norsk Folkehjelps solidaritetsungdom og Bergen Kristelige Studentforbund.

An artist has dedicated a new mural in the besieged Gaza Strip to Palestinian children detained by Israeli occupation forces.

The painting, shared on social media by Gaza-based journalist Isabel Pérez, highlights a 72% increase in these detentions last year.

Israeli forces have detained nearly 6,000 Palestinian children over the past five years, subjecting many to torture and abuse.

The Campaign to #FreeAhmadManasrah, the 13-year-old Palestinian boy who was rammed by a car, abused by settlers from police, and is facing trial in an Israeli military court, has launched a new website: http://freeahmadmanasrah.com/

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network supports the campaign to Free Ahmad Manasrah, and encourages all to participate in the social media campaign below, scheduled for Monday, 28 December, and to join our protest in New York City on 8 January at 4 PM to free Ahmad Manasrah and all Palestinian prisoners.

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Monday, December 28 at 9 PM – 10 PM

The Global Campaign to #FreeAhmadManasrah is inviting you to speak up and raise your voice for justice by tweeting with us on Twitter and Posting Facebook, every Monday at 09:00 PM Jerusalem time, 2PM EST time, using this hashtag #FreeAhmadManasrah

We are aiming to use Social media to wake the world up to what Israel is doing to Ahmad Manasrah and all the abused children behind Israeli prison bars.

** Children aged 13 can be arrested and tried, but they can’t be sentenced to jail unless they have turned 14 by the time the sentence is handed down.

The Prosecution plans to postpone Ahmad’s trial until January 2016; until he reaches the age of 14 which allows them to put him in jail for a long period of time.

*** Why this is important? ****

Ahmad’s case represents other 400+ Palestinian children who went through pretty much the same experience, some of them went through more! But because there were no leaked videos of their savage arrest & abusive interrogation methods, noone knows about them!

By Helping Ahmad’s case go viral, you will be helping all the Palestinian Children who lives under occupation!

RAISE your voice for humanity! Prevent more terrorism against Manasrah and his brothers!
Imagine if Ahmed was your son or brother, would you stand still?

Join us and show your solidarity with the children of Palestine.
Contact us:
On Facebook
Free Ahmad Manasrah: https://www.facebook.com/Free-Ahmad-Manasrah-1662097660702732/
On Twitter: @Help_Ahmad

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is re-publishing here the statement of the Free the Hares Boys Campaign on the sentencing and imprisonment of five Palestinian teens, from the village of Hares. These five young men, Ali Shamlawi, Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Ammar Souf and Tamer Souf, were accused of throwing stones near their village and causing a settler’s car accident with a truck. The claim of stone throwing did not even arise until days after the accident, and became an occasion for Israeli occupation forces terrorizing the village, rounding up teen boys and torturing five into false confessions. We urge all to join in actions called by the Free the Hares Boys Campaign and draw attention to these five Palestinian youth and the massive injustice against them:

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Five Palestinian Teens Blackmailed Into Accepting 15 Years Prison Term and Exorbitant ‘Fines’ for a Crime That Never Happened

PRESS RELEASE

by Free The Hares Boys campaign

12 December 2015

It is with great sadness and anger that we hereby inform you of the outcome of the Hares Boys case: the five teenagers are being sentenced to 15 years in prison and are to pay a total of NIS 150,000 (~US $39,000 or €35,000) to the Israeli authorities. Failure to provide the exorbitant sum would, it is implied, result in more years of prison added to the boys’ sentences.

Ali Shamlawi, Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Ammar Souf, and Tamer Souf have been kept in prison for 2 years and 8 months and are now being sentenced for a crime that never happened.

The five teenagers (16-17 years old at the time) from the village of Hares (Salfit governorate, West Bank, occupied Palestine) were kidnapped from their homes by the Israeli army in March 2013. The teens were accused of throwing stones at illegal settler cars, one of which drove under a truck that was parked along Route 5 near the village of Hares. The driver’s children were injured during the accident and one of them died two years later after pneumonia complications. The boys denied throwing stones but were forced to sign ‘confessions’ following torturous interrogations at the hands of Israeli secret services. There was never any evidence of the boys’ guilt but it is sadly a reality in the Israeli military court system that does not comply with due process and convicts Palestinians at a 99.7% rate.

After almost 3 years of routine hearings at Israeli military courts, where the boys were initially accused of ‘attempted murder’, they were told on 26 November 2015 that they are now being charged with manslaughter and are being sentenced to prison terms of 15 years, provided their families pay ‘fines’ of NIS 30,000 [US $7,750 or € 7,100] each by the deadline of 28 January 2016. Failure to pay the amount requested by the Israeli military court would, it is understood, result in each boy’s sentence being prolonged, possibly to at least 25 years in prison.

There is no other way to describe this situation the five teens and their families have endured other than as criminal activity on behalf of the Israeli system of ‘justice’. Pressing the families to agree to a court ‘deal’ and threatening them with harsher sentences if they don’t accept is nothing less than extortion. Demanding that families pay large sums of money as a ‘fine’ or a ‘compensation’ to the occupying power is nothing less than a demand for ransom.

On behalf of the Free the Hares Boys campaign we condemn such acts of injustice committed by the Israeli military court.

We invite local and international human rights organizations, the world’s democratic government institutions and people of conscience to stand up to this injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation and to demand justice for the Hares Boys. Please consider contacting your country’s diplomatic representatives in Tel Aviv or occupied Jerusalem; the Israeli Ministry of Justice; your local politicians; asking them to intervene and condemn such injustice and disrespect for the rule of law. Organize events in your community to highlight the Hares Boys case and the situation of hundreds of other Palestinian children who are being kept in occupation prisons.

Do not stay silent in the face of what is not right.

PDF VERSION: PRESS HERE

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Cinco adolescentes palestinos están siendo chantajeados para aceptar 15 años de prisión y ‘multas’ exorbitantes por un crimen que nunca ocurrió

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA
de la Campaña por la Libertad de los Chicos de Hares
12 de diciembre de 2015

Con gran tristeza e indignación queremos informarles sobre el resultado del caso de los Chicos de Hares: los cinco adolescentes están siendo condenados a 15 años de prisión y tienen que pagar un total de 150.000 shekels (US$ 39.000 o € 35.000) a las autoridades israelíes. Si no se entrega esta suma exorbitante, se les ha dado a entender que serán condenados a un período significativamente más largo de prisión.

Ali Shamlawi, Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Ammar Souf y Tamer Souf están en prisión desde hace 2 años y 8 meses, y ahora están siendo condenados por un crimen que nunca ocurrió. Los cinco adolescentes de la aldea de Hares (distrito de Salfit, Cisjordania, Palestina ocupada) fueron secuestrados de sus hogares por el ejército israelí en marzo de 2013, cuando tenían 16 y 17 años de edad. Los chicos fueron acusados ​​sin pruebas de arrojar piedras a vehículos de colonos ilegales, uno de los cuales chocó contra un camión que estaba estacionado en la Ruta 5, cerca de Hares. Las hijas de la conductora del coche resultaron heridas en el accidente, y una de ellas murió dos años más tarde a causa de complicaciones derivadas de una neumonía. Los chicos negaron haber tirado piedras, pero fueron obligados a firmar “confesiones” después de largos interrogatorios y torturas a manos de los servicios secretos israelíes. Nunca se obtuvo prueba alguna de su culpabilidad, pero lamentablemente eso es una realidad habitual en el sistema de tribunales militares israelíes, que no cumplen con las garantías del debido proceso y tienen una tasa de condena de los palestinos del 99,7%.

Después de casi 3 años de audiencias de rutina en los tribunales militares israelíes, donde los chicos fueron inicialmente acusados de “tentativa de homicidio”, el 26 de noviembre de 2015 se les informó que ahora están siendo acusados de homicidio no intencional y serán condenados a una pena de prisión de 15 años, siempre que sus familias paguen la penalización de 30.000 shekels (US$ 7.750 o € 7.100) cada una antes de la fecha límite del 28 de enero de 2016. Se les ha dado a entender que si no pagan en ese plazo la cantidad exigida por el tribunal militar israelí, la sentencia de cada chico se extendería, posiblemente, a por lo menos 25 años de prisión.

No hay otra forma de describir esta situación que los cinco adolescentes y sus familias están sufriendo que de actividad criminal por parte del sistema israelí de ‘justicia’. Presionar a las familias a que acepten un ‘acuerdo’ y amenazarlas con penas más severas si no lo hacen no es otra cosa que extorsión. Exigir que las familias paguen grandes sumas de dinero como ‘sanción económica’ o ‘compensación’ a la potencia ocupante no es otra cosa que una exigencia de rescate.

En nombre de la campaña por la Libertad de los Chicos de Hares condenamos tales actos de injusticia cometidos por el tribunal militar israelí.

Exhortamos a las organizaciones locales, nacionales e internacionales de derechos humanos, a las instituciones y gobiernos democráticos del mundo y a todas las personas de conciencia a protestar ante esta injusticia infligida al pueblo palestino por la ocupación israelí, y a exigir justicia para los Chicos de Hares. Les pedimos que contacten a sus políticos locales, a los representantes diplomáticos de sus países en Tel Aviv o Jerusalén ocupada, a los organismos internacionales, al Ministerio de Justicia de Israel, pidiéndoles que intervengan y condenen semejante injusticia y falta de respeto al estado de derecho.

Les pedimos que organicen eventos en sus comunidades para dar visibilidad al caso de los Chicos de Hares y denunciar la situación de cientos de otros niños palestinos que están en las cárceles de la ocupación. No guardemos silencio frente a lo que no es correcto.

Versión PDF para bajar: AQUI

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The number of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons has more than doubled, reported the Electronic Intifada. There are over 420 Palestinian children currently held in Israeli jails, and the number continues to escalate; one-fifth of those arrested since October have been children. In fact, the Israeli occupation prison system has opened a new wing for children in Givon prison, housing 75 children, which is itself now full.

Three Palestinian girls, Marah Baker, Istabraq Nour and Jihan Erekat, are currently being held at Ramle prison with Israeli women “criminal” prisoners, separated from the other women Palestinian prisoners, who are held at HaSharon prison. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association has denounced the girls’ situation, noting that they are being held in de facto isolation, that their belongings – including hijab headscarves – have been confiscated, and they are shackled during recreation. They are living in fear due to taunts and threats in the prison. Baker and Nour are also injured from being shot by Israeli soldiers and are not receiving necessary follow-up treatment for their injuries.

“Between January and June 2015, 86 percent of Palestinian children reported some kind of physical violence after their arrest, according to data collected by Defense for Children International–Palestine – an increase of 10 percent from the prior year,” noted Electronic Intifada.

Ahmad Manasrah, 13 years old, is currently being imprisoned by the Israeli military. He was subject to a videotaped interrogation which was viewed around the world, provoking outrage. An international campaign is calling for his freedom: https://www.facebook.com/Help-Ahmad-Manasrah-1662097660702732/

As part of the #FreeAhmadManasrah campaign, Stefan Christoff of CKUT in Montreal interviewed Irish activist  Robby Martin from Dublin, Ireland, speaking on the international campaign. “Ahmad’s case is getting global focus within Palestinian solidarity networks within the context of a wave of political arrests facing Palestinians in the West Bank. Also this interview places the arrest within the larger context of trying to work build support globally for Palestinian human rights.”

Listen to the interview online:

Manasrah’s lawyer, Tareq Barghout, was himself arrested and held for several days by the Israeli military before being released.

Take action:

1.Support the Free Ahmad Manasrah campaign. Photograph yourself or your colleagues with a sign that says #FreeAhmadManasrah and share widely. Join the official campaign facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Help-Ahmad-Manasrah-1662097660702732/

2. Contact your government officials and demand an end to international silence and complicity with the attacks on Palestinian children. In Canada, Call the office of the new Foreign Minister, Stéphane Dion, at 613-996-5789 and demand an end to Canadian support for Israel and justice for Palestinian children, or email: stephane.dion@parl.gc.ca. In the US, call the White House (202-456-1111) and the US State Department (202-647-9572); raise your concern about the treatment of Palestinian children and demand an end to US aid to Israel. In the EU, contact your MEP – you can find your MEP here, or use the tool at http://freepalestine.eu/ to both call for an end to the EU-Israel Association Agreement and highlight the abuse of Palestinian children.

3. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy in your area.  This is a time of uprising and intifada – protests are happening around the world and are more urgent than ever. see our list of actions here:http://samidoun.net/2015/10/take-action-rise-up-with-palestine-global-protest-actions/ Hold a community event or discussion, or include this issue in your next event about Palestine and social justice. Please email us at samidoun@samidoun.net to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.

4. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. G4S, a global security corporation, is heavily involved in providing services to Israeli prisons that jail Palestinian political prisoners – there is a global call to boycott itPalestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS at bdsmovement.net.

The Israeli occupation is escalating its attacks on Palestinian children and youth amid the growing intifada, including the Justice Ministry’s new draft law, seeking to imprison Palestinian children from the age of 12.

This proposed law comes amid a raft of repressive laws promulgated by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian population living under colonization and occupation, including the planned imposition of new minimum sentences of three years imprisonment for stone-throwing at occupation settlers and soldiers. Sentences of up to twenty years have been discussed.

All of these charges and convictions would of course, take place in Israeli military courts, which convict 99.74% of the Palestinians brought before them. While the law’s proponents have stated that its provisions apply only for “murder, attempted murder or manslaughter,” it should be noted that the use of such charges, in particular “attempted murder,” in Israeli military courts is quite broad. One such example is the case of the Hares Boys, five Palestinians – minors when arrested and charged – accused of “attempted murder” on the basis of a settler car accident that occurred near their village. (The Hares Boys were, after a series of mass arrests in their village, accused of throwing stones at the settler road, despite a complete lack of evidence, and then charged with 25 counts of “attempted murder.”)

A child of twelve convicted in Israeli military court would be imprisoned in a “closed treatment facility” administered by the occupation authorities and then be turned to a regular prison to serve their sentence. Ayelet Shaked, the far-right extremist Justice Minister of the Netanyahu government, has referred to Palestinian children as “little snakes,” stating that the “entire Palestinian people is the enemy,” and said:

“They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes.”

Well over 320 Palestinian children under 18 are imprisoned in Israeli jails, many of whom are accused of “stone-throwing.” 122 children have been arrested so far in November, following the arrest of 177 in October; there are also now 12 children held in administrative detention without charge or trial. Administrative detention is often used when there is no evidence at all to support even the most general charges of stone-throwing or posting so-called “incitement” on social media.

The Palestinian minors held under administrative detention are: Fadi Abbasi, Mohammed Gheith, and Kazem Sbeih – all from Jerusalem, which Eyad Abu Eqtaish of Defence for Children International Palestine noted was “unprecedented” – and now nine more from the West Bank: Huzaifa Jabarin, Mahmoud Abu Ali, Ashraf Zaid, Mahmoud Shweiki, Jamal Daray, Nasim Huwarin, Abdelghani Hamad, Majed Al-Saadi and Adnan Al-Azayzeh. Riyad Al-Ashqar of the Prisoners’ Center for Studies noted that Palestinian minors had not been held under administrative detention in the past eight years, noting that this is an escalation in the intensity of Israeli attacks on Palestinian children.

In this context, the video of the screaming, abusive interrogation of 13-year-old Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra, without parents or a lawyer, by Israeli occupation forces, was leaked:

Manasra’s 15-year-old cousin was shot dead and he was severely wounded by Israeli occupation soldiers; following his shooting he was surrounded by settlers who denied him access to medical care and shouted profanity and abuse at him, after he and his cousin were accused of participating in a stabbing. The shooting and abuse was also captured on video.

17 Palestinian minors have been killed by Israeli occupation forces since 1 October, including a baby killed by tear gas.

Families and fellow prisoners in Ofer prison have reported that the children’s area in the prison is overcrowded due to the ongoing arrests in the past two months and that 49 of the prisoners newly arrived were severely ill, injured with live bullets, or had been severely beaten by Israeli forces prior to coming to the prison. The child prisoners also have no access to blankets or other needs inside the prison.

Take action!

Palestinian children are under attack.

1. Contact your government officials and demand an end to international silence and complicity with the attacks on Palestinian children. In Canada, Call the office of the new Foreign Minister, Stéphane Dion, at 613-996-5789 and demand an end to Canadian support for Israel and justice for Palestinian children, or email: stephane.dion@parl.gc.ca. In the US, call the White House (202-456-1111) and the US State Department (202-647-9572); raise your concern about the treatment of Palestinian children and demand an end to US aid to Israel. In the EU, contact your MEP – you can find your MEP here, or use the tool at http://freepalestine.eu/ to both call for an end to the EU-Israel Association Agreement and highlight the abuse of Palestinian children.

2. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy in your area.  This is a time of uprising and intifada – protests are happening around the world and are more urgent than ever. see our list of actions here: http://samidoun.net/2015/10/take-action-rise-up-with-palestine-global-protest-actions/ Hold a community event or discussion, or include this issue in your next event about Palestine and social justice. Please email us at samidoun@samidoun.net to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.

3. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. G4S, a global security corporation, is heavily involved in providing services to Israeli prisons that jail Palestinian political prisoners – there is a global call to boycott itPalestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS at bdsmovement.net.