West News Wire: According to statistics held by Amnesty International, Israeli forces killed eight Palestinian children between the beginning of 2022 and the 8th of May under circumstances that appear to be unlawful, including the use of excessive and irresponsible fatal force. During this time, an armed settler also killed a Palestinian youngster.

On April 13, 2022, Israeli police opened fire on Qusai Fuad Mohammad Hamamra, a 16-year-old Palestinian, as they were policing a protest near the entrance to Husan, a town near Bethlehem. Hamamra was shot many times, according to the human rights organization Defense for Children International Palestine. He was hit in the head by at least one bullet. According to an Israeli army statement, a guy in Husan was shot after throwing a Molotov cocktail at Israeli soldiers,  who were not injured.

“I saw the blood at the place where he was shot,” said Amina Hamamra, Qusai Hamamra’s mother. “It was like when you slaughter a sheep. No one could get near because of the shooting. He had dreams. I had dreams for him. Now they are over.”

For the duration of Ramadan, which started on 3 April, and until 8 May, the Israeli authorities have restricted access for Muslim worshippers to the al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem and set up semi-permanent checkpoints to block access on roads that lead to the mosque.

Israeli police have brutally attacked worshippers in and around the mosque and used violence that amounts to torture and other ill-treatment to break up gatherings. According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, on 15 April, Israeli armed police detained more than 400 Palestinians, many of them children, following a six-hour escalation that left at least 150 Palestinians injured by rubber bullets and beatings with batons.

Israeli authorities must end unlawful killings, willful injury, arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, persecution and collective punishment against Palestinians, including many children, Amnesty International said in a public statement published today.

In the latest incident, Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the head on 11 May while covering an Israeli military raid in the city of Jenin, in the northern occupied West Bank. Palestinians have been killed or injured as a result of the Israeli forces’ use of excessive force when policing protests or carrying out search and arrest raids. Some Palestinians appear to have been killed in acts that amount to extrajudicial executions, which constitute a crime under international law.

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Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, like adults, face arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment under an Israeli military detention system that denies them basic rights.

Since 1967, Israel has operated two separate legal systems in the same territory. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers are subject to the civilian and criminal legal system whereas Palestinians live under military law.

Israel applies civilian criminal law to Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. No Israeli child comes into contact with the military courts.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections. Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year.

Since 2000, Israeli military authorities have detained, interrogated, prosecuted, and imprisoned approximately 13,000 Palestinian children, according to estimates by DCIP.

According to figures supplied by the Israel Prison Service, an average of 263 Palestinian adolescents aged 12 to 17 were held by Israeli authorities at any given time between January 2016 and September 2020. (IPS). During this time, 51 young Palestinian children (12-15) were jailed on average.

Children are usually chained, blindfolded, terrified, and sleep-deprived when they arrive for interrogation.

After verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological aggression, which in certain circumstances amounts to torture, children frequently make confessions.

Israeli military law grants no recourse to legal representation during questioning, and military court judges seldom overturn confessions obtained through pressure or torture.

According to international standards, a kid is anyone under the age of 18.

DCIP collected sworn affidavits from 681 juvenile detainees between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2021, detailing their arrest, interrogation, and custody experiences. Of them over half were arrested at night, 85% were not informed of the reason for their arrest, 75% were subjected to physical violence. These also include 97% were interrogated without a family member present, 67% were not properly informed of their rights, 40% were denied adequate food and water and list goes on.

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