MPs denounce Israeli Imprisonment of children

MPs are calling on the British government to take immediate action against Israel over the prosecution of 700 Palestinian children every year in military courts. “Children as young as 12 are brought to these courts in shackles and cuffs and denied a fair trial,” said shadow international development minister Ian Lavery. “Most of these children are charged on the basis of confessions under interrogation,” said Lavery, who has just returned from a parliamentary visit to the West Bank, citing widespread reports of Israeli torture and abuse of Palestinian children. “32 per cent of all confessions are written in Hebrew, a language they do not understand,” he said in an Early Day Motion, supported by more than 20 other MPs. The motion also accuses Israel of breaching the International Convention of the Rights of the Child by treating Palestinians from the age of 16 as adults compared over 18 for Israeli children. “Whilst Israeli settler children in the same area have to see a judge within 24 hours, Palestinians may not see a judge for eight days,” Lavery said. He accused the Israeli regime of adopting a “dual legal system based on race” and said it was a “grave and serious breach of international law.” According to the Israeli human rights group, B’tselem, in Jerusalem al-Quds, Palestinian children under 12 have included a five-year old. The motion called on the government “to demand immediate action from the Israeli government to bring its behaviour in line with international law.”