The summer 2012 British legal report, Children in Military Custody, drew significant media attention to the experiences of Palestinian children in the Israeli military justice system. Below are summaries of some of the most significant recent media reports on this topic.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Defense for Children International lawyer Gerard Horton summarizes the findings of Children in Military Custody and other recent reports on the subject by B’tselem and Defense for Children International. He concludes that the differences in the treatment of Jewish and Palestinian children accused of the same crime in Israel’s two-tiered justice system represents “discrimination based on racial grounds.” He also lists simple policy changes that could help equalize the treatment of the two groups of children.
The Australian reports that Australia’s Foreign Minister has begun lobbying the Israeli government to change its treatment of detained Palestinian children. In response, an Israeli spokesperson announced that “improvements have been introduced” and “further measures… are in planning” to ameliorate conditions for Palestinian children in the Israeli military justice system.
Writing at AlJazeera, Dalla Hatuqa summarizes the key findings of of Children in Military Custody and Defense for Children International’s Bound, Blindfolded, and Convicted. She also prints a lengthy rebuttal from an Israeli government spokesman, who denies that Israeli forces have held Palestinian children in solitary confinement, as well as other key tenants of the report.