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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com 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 it. Palestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS at bdsmovement.net.