The Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and Ex-Prisoners in Gaza reported yesterday that there are 200 Palestinian children held by Israel in prison who do not receive sufficient healthcare provision. They even lack the necessary protection to help curb the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 at a time when many security officials and prisoners are infected.
The ministry provided the details in a statement to mark Palestinian Children’s Day, stressing the need for rights organisations, especially those with a specific focus on children, to act now to protect child prisoners held by Israel. At least two children, explained the ministry, have been quarantined by the Israelis because they have been in contact with investigating officers and other prisoners who have the virus. The International Red Cross Society was urged to intervene to have the children released without delay.
From January 2019 to the end of last month, Israel arrested 789 boys and girls aged 12 to 18. Detained children are deprived of their most basic rights and face unfair trials and inhuman treatment which violate their basic rights.
Dozens of children are arrested in Jerusalem every day, said the ministry, more than any other Palestinian governorate. As well as imprisonment, they are confined to their homes and face deportation from their home city as well as heavy fines.
Israel is holding around 5,700 prisoners, including 200 children, 44 women, five members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, 27 journalists and 470 administrative detainees held with neither charge nor trial. Of the 700 prisoners in ill health, 200 need urgent treatment.