from the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy
NOTE: Pax Christi USA is a member of the Faith Forum. This is their “Third Thursday for Israel-Palestine” action for May.
The detention of Palestinian minors by Israel raises serious concerns about lack of due process and ill-treatment. These concerns serve as a call to action for those who feel a responsibility to care for the most weak and vulnerable members of society.
According to the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, as of the end of March 2015, 184 Palestinian minors were held in Israeli custody. Furthermore, as B’Tselem notes, “the military law applied in the West Bank…denies them the protections accorded to minors under both international and Israeli law.” A 2013 UNICEF report states, “Ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.” While noting positive progress on some fronts, a UNICEF update this year states, “The data demonstrates the need for further actions to improve the protection of children in military detention, as reports of alleged ill-treatment of children during arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention have not significantly decreased in 2013 and 2014.”
Contact your Members of Congress today: Ask them to attend an important Congressional briefing to learn more about this issue and to advocate for ending the ill-treatment of Palestinian children in detention. Entitled, “International Juvenile Justice Reform: Children in Israeli Military Detention,” the briefing will take place Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 9:30 AM in the Capitol Visitors Center, Congressional Meeting Room North.
The briefing will discuss the legal and structural components of the military court system, and situate the detention of Palestinian children within the larger context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Opening remarks will be provided by Congressman Keith Ellison and featured speakers include Tariq Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian-American who will provide a firsthand account from a child’s perspective and examine the effects of detention.
Use this link to see a sample letter/email/phone script and send your message today. This link is provided by our partners at the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.