Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) condemns the most recent violation of Palestinian rights by the occupying force of Israel – this time the rights of children, all under 13 years-old.
On Wednesday 10 March, occupying forces forcibly detaineed five Palestinian children. The youngest of the children is seven years-old, the oldest thirteen.
The detentions occurred near Rakiz, south of Hebron (or al-Khalil, as it is known in Arabic), in the occupied West Bank, AOHR UK added.
Following their detention, the children were taken to the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba for questioning, and thereafter released. Two of the children were compelled to return for further interrogation. The names of the children are: Jibrail Mohamed Abu Ahmed, Saqr Mohamed Abu Ahmed, Zayd Jibrail Hamidat, Omar Jibrail Hamidat, and Yassin Jibrail Hamidat.
The children were detained following a complaint of “trespassing” by residents of the settlement. The children were picking wild leaves, according to Israeli media outlets.
AOHR UK affirmed that their detention and interrogation may constitute breaches of their human rights, both as members of an occupied population, and as minors.
Moreover, such settlements are widely acknowledged to constitute fundamental violations of international law. As stated in the Fourth Geneva Convention “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” – as has clearly happened in the case of the West Bank, including the two settlements in question. Put simply, neither settlements nor the presence of Israeli military forces in the West Bank finds a basis in international law.
AOHR UK deplores the detentions as further instances of military aggression against an occupied population – in this case, against children gathering wild plants – and the broader occupation of historic Palestine, of which settlements such as Kiryat Arba and Havat Maon are a key element.
AOHR UK asks that all relevant international bodies and Israel’s chief allies recognise and condemn those detentions.