Defence for Children International – Palestine Section

In their own Words: A report on the situation facing Palestinian children detained in occupied East Jerusalem

Reporting period: 1 July to 31 December 2011

Submitted: 30 January 2012
Submitted to: 1) UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; and UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

2) 3) 4)

This report is submitted on behalf of Defence for Children International–Palestine Section (DCIPalestine), a national section of the international non-governmental child rights organisation and movement, Defence for Children International, established in 1979, with consultative status with ECOSOC.

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Index 1. 2. 3. 4. 4. 5. Executive summary ........................................................................................... Introduction ........................................................................................................ Overview ........................................................................................................ ........................................................ ............................................ 3 4 4 5 7 8 8 9 10 12 13 13 14 15

DCI cases during the reporting period

General protections under Israeli civilian law Specific issues of concern A. B. C. D. E. F. G.

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Arrested between midnight and 5:00 am ............................................ Hand ties and blindfolds .................................................................... Physical violence ................................................................................ Threats and verbal abuse .................................................................... Interrogated in the absence of a parent ............................................ Confession during interrogation ........................................................ Signed/shown documents written in Hebrew ............................................ ............................................

6.

Concluding remarks and recommendations Annexure 1 Executive summary (January to June 2011) Annexure 2 Cumulative table of issues of concern

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16

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17

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1. 1.1

Executive summary This Report is based on data collected from 68 cases in which DCI-Palestine provided legal assistance to Palestinian children from East Jerusalem who were detained by Israeli authorities during the last six months of 2011 (reporting period). The Report also relies on 23 testimonies collected from children who were detained during the same period. The Report identifies the principal locations in East Jerusalem where Palestinian children were detained during the reporting period. In order of magnitude, these include: Shu‟fat refugee camp, „Isawiyya, At-Tur and Silwan. One explanation for the number of arrests in the Shu‟fat refugee camp, is that changes to a nearby checkpoint during the reporting period resulted in an increase in tension, which in turn led to clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces. In the case of Silwan, the continued presence of Israeli settlers and the threat of house demolitions continue to cause high levels of anxiety which also leads to clashes, followed by arrests in many cases. During the reporting period, DCI has observed a spike in the number of cases in which children report being subjected to physical violence and threats during arrest and interrogation, as well as an alarming increase in the number of cases in which children were questioned in the absence of one of their parents. On a positive note, DCI did not document any cases in which children were detained with adults or cases in which children under 12 years were arrested. However, this should not be interpreted to mean that these issues did not occur during the reporting period. The most common complaints and areas of concern raised by the children in their testimonies are presented in Table 1.
Table 1 – Common complaints and issues of concern – 1 July to 31 December 2011

1.2

1.3

# 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Common complaints and issues of concern Hand ties Physical violence Interrogated in the absence of a parent Threats Not informed of the right to silence Signed/shown documents written in Hebrew Arrested between midnight and 5:00 am Blindfolds Verbal abuse Confession during interrogation Detained with adults Interrogation of children under 12 years

Number of cases 22 21 21 20 17 17 14 14 13 13 0 0

Percentage of children 96% 91% 91% 87% 74% 74% 61% 61% 57% 57% 0% 0%

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2. 2.1

Introduction This is the third six-monthly report submitted by DCI-Palestine to the UN in which the situation facing Palestinian children detained by Israeli authorities in occupied East Jerusalem is considered. The first two reports in the series are available online, and the executive summary for the previous report is annexed (Annexure A).1 The Report covers the period 1 July to 31 December 2011 (reporting period), and is based on data collected from 68 cases in which DCI-Palestine provided legal assistance to children detained for questioning. It should be noted that these cases do not represent the totality of cases involving the arrest of children during the reporting period – they are simply those represented by DCI-Palestine. The Report also relies on 23 sworn testimonies collected from children during the reporting period. During the reporting period, DCI-Palestine also collected 36 testimonies from children living in the occupied West Bank who were prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. These cases are dealt with in a separate report as Israeli authorities generally apply Israeli civilian law to Palestinian children living in East Jerusalem, whereas Israeli military law is applied to Palestinian children living in the West Bank.2 The application of Israeli civilian law in East Jerusalem follows the annexation of the east of the city following the cessation of fighting in June 1967. It is important to note that the annexation has no legal effect and is not officially recognised outside Israel.3 Overview Around 270,000 Palestinians currently reside in East Jerusalem, in addition to 200,000 Israeli settlers, residing in settlements.4 Approximately 55,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are physically separated from the urban centre by the Wall. While 35 percent of East Jerusalem‟s land has been confiscated for the development of Israeli settlements, only 13 percent of East Jerusalem is zoned for Palestinian construction. Further, at least 32 percent of all Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem lack building

2.2

2.3

3. 3.1

1

See also: DCI-Palestine, Voices from East Jerusalem: The situation facing Palestinian children (August 2011). Available at: http://www.dci-palestine.org/documents/new-dci-report-voices-east-jerusalem-situation-facingpalestinian-children-2011 2 DCI-Palestine, „In their own words: A report on the situation facing Palestinian children detained in the Israeli military court system,‟ (January 2012). Available at: http://www.dci-palestine.org/sites/default/files/un_sp__detention_-_west_bank_-_jan_2012.pdf 3 See: UN Security Council resolutions 298 and 478; and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004) (ICJ Wall Opinion). Available at: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1677.pdf 4 Under international law, Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are illegal: see Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004).

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permits, which are difficult to obtain, potentially placing at least 86,500 residents at risk of displacement through house demolition.5 These factors contribute to tensions in the east of the city. 3.2 It is against this backdrop that organisations working in East Jerusalem have reported a sharp increase in the number of children being arrested and accused of throwing stones since 2010. According to Israel Police figures, between November 2009 and October 2010, the Jerusalem District opened 1,267 criminal files against Palestinian children living in East Jerusalem who were accused of throwing stones.6 DCI cases during the reporting period The majority of the children represented by DCI-Palestine during the reporting period come from the neighbourhoods of Shu‟fat, „Isawiyya, At-Tur and Silwan. Table 2 – Geographical distribution of DCI cases – 1 July to 31 December 2011 # Location Number 1 Shu‟fat refugee camp 25 2 „Isawiyya 15 3 At-Tur 14 4 Silwan 9 5 Ras Al-„Amud 3 6 Beit Hanina 1 7 Old City 1 68 4.2 During the reporting period, DCI-Palestine documented a sharp increase in cases from the Shu‟afat refugee camp. Shu‟afat refugee camp is located within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, and is home to approximately 20,000 Palestinians. Although approximately 50 percent of the camp‟s inhabitants have Israeli „permanent residency‟ status, the area is physically separated from Jerusalem by the Wall.7 During the reporting period, changes to the checkpoints linking the camp with Jerusalem have given rise to anxiety among residents that they will lose their „permanent residency‟ status. This in turn, has led to increased tensions and clashes at checkpoints between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces.

4. 4.1

5

UNOCHA, „East Jerusalem: Key Humanitarian Concerns,‟ (December 2011). Available at: http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_Jerusalem_FactSheet_December_2011_english.pdf 6 B‟Tselem, „Caution: Children Ahead – The Illegal Behaviour of the Police towards Minors in Silwan Suspected of Throwing Stones,‟ (December 2010) – page 13. 7 Ir Amin, „Behind the Wall – Shu‟afat Refugee Camp.‟ Available at: http://www.iramim.org.il/eng/?CategoryID=330

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4.3

Tensions also remain high in Silwan, which is situated just outside the walls of the old city, and is home to approximately 16,500 Palestinians.8 According to the UN, Silwan has become one of the main centres of Israeli settlement activity and is currently home to 380 settlers who live in properties taken over by various means from their original Palestinian residents.9 According to the UN, Palestinian residents of Silwan report harassment and intimidation by the settlers and their security guards, and clashes between residents and soldiers and police are frequent, which in turn, leads in many cases to arrest and detention. On 21 June 2010, the Jerusalem Municipality‟s Planning and Building Committee approved a plan to demolish 22 Palestinian houses in Silwan to make way for an archaeological garden, adding to tensions in the neighbourhood.10 During the reporting period, DCI-Palestine provided legal assistance to 68 Palestinian children from East Jerusalem. In 46 cases (68 percent) the children were charged with throwing stones. In the remaining 22 cases, the children were charged with vandalising Jewish graves (11 cases); throwing Molotov cocktails (seven cases); assaulting a policeman (three cases); and attempting to kill (one case). In seven cases (30 percent) the children were denied bail and remain in detention pending their trial. In a further five cases, children were released on bail after spending between 22 and 32 days in detention. The age ranges of the children who provided DCI-Palestine with testimonies are presented below: Table 3 – Ages of 23 children who provided testimonies to DCI Ages Number 0 0 - 11 3 12 - 13 10 14 - 15 10 16 - 17 23

4.4

Percentage 0% 13% 43.5% 43.5% 100%

8

B‟Tselem, „Caution: Children Ahead – The Illegal Behaviour of the Police towards Minors in Silwan Suspected of Throwing Stones,‟ (December 2010) – Available at: http://www.btselem.org/Download/201012_Caution_Children_Ahead_Eng.pdf 9 UN OHCHA, ,The Humanitarian Monitor, (September 2010) – Available at: http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_the_humanitarian_monitor_2010_10_19_english.pdf 10 B‟Tselem – Available at: http://www.btselem.org/English/Jerusalem/20100628_JM_Municipality_plans_to_demolish_22_houses_in_Silwan. asp

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5. 5.1

General protections under Israeli civilian law Under Israeli civilian law applied to occupied East Jerusalem, children should only be arrested as a last resort, and children below the age of 12 years are not criminally responsible and must not be detained.11 Further, no child below the age of 14 years should be held in pre-trial detention or be given a custodial sentence.12 Israeli civilian law also places restrictions on the questioning of children at night, and requires that children below the age of 14 must be brought before a judge within 12 hours of their arrest, and 24 hours in the case of older children. Importantly, all children have the right to remain silent and are permitted to be accompanied by a parent whilst being questioned by the police in cases where they are not formally under arrest.13 Further, only appropriately trained youth interrogators are permitted to interview children. In regards to the mistreatment of children whilst in custody, there are no express legislative provisions in the Israeli civilian legal system that specifically prohibit the crime of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as required under international law.14 However, the Penal Law does impose a prison term of up to three years for a public servant who uses force, violence or threats in order to obtain a confession or to gather information regarding a crime.15 Further, the Supreme Court has ruled that a “a reasonable investigation is necessarily one free of torture, free of cruel, inhuman treatment of the subject and free of any degrading handling whatsoever.”16 Specific issues of concern This section of the Report considers the main issues of concern raised by the 23 children in their testimonies. The common complaints and issues of concern are presented in Table 4:

5.2

5.3

6. 6.1

11

Penal Law (1977) – Section 34F. See also Amendment 14 to the Youth (Trial, Punishment and Modes of Treatment) Law (2008). 12 Youth (Trial, Punishment and Modes of Treatment) Law (1971) – Section 25(d). 13 Youth (Trial, Punishment and Modes of Treatment) Law (1971) – Section 9H. 14 This lack of incorporating a crime of torture and ill-treatment into domestic Israeli legislation has been the subject of recent comment and criticism by both the UN Committee Against Torture (May 2009) and the UN Human Rights Committee (July 2010) in their Concluding Observations on Israel‟s state reports under the Convention Against Torture and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 15 Penal Law (1977) – Section 277. 16 Public Committee Against Torture in Israel v The State of Israel (1999) (HCJ 5100/94) – page 15. Note that the Court left open the question of whether an interrogator accused of engaging in torture or ill-treatment could rely on the defence of necessity, suggesting that, contrary to international law, the prohibition against torture in Israel is not absolute.

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Table 4 – Common complaints and issues of concern – 1 July to 31 December 2011 Number of Percentage # Common complaints and issues of concern cases of children 1 Hand ties 22 96% 2 Physical violence 21 91% 3 Interrogated in the absence of a parent 21 91% 4 Threats 20 87% 5 Not informed of the right to silence 17 74% 6 Signed/shown documents written in Hebrew 17 74% 7 Arrested between midnight and 5:00 am 14 61% 8 Blindfolds 14 61% 9 Verbal abuse 13 57% 10 Confession during interrogation 13 57% 11 Detained with adults 0 0% 12 Interrogation of children under 12 years 0 0%

A. 6.2

Arrested between midnight and 5:00 am (61%) In 14 out of 23 cases (61 percent), the children report being arrested from their family homes between midnight and 5:00 am. This represents a significant increase in the percentage of similar reported cases over the previous six-month period – up from 31 percent. The practice of arresting children in the middle of the night has the tendency to frighten the individual child and the entire family, and can lead to a lasting sense of insecurity. Although the Israeli legal system does limit the circumstances in which a child can be interrogated at night, there are no specific provisions relating to the time of arrest. However, it is difficult to reconcile these night time arrests with one of the guiding principles on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which provides that “in all actions concerning children [...] the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration.” There is no apparent good reason why the families of children wanted for questioning can not be served with a summons to appear at a police station during daylight hours. In a number of cases documented by DCI-Palestine during the reporting period, parents were told that there was an arrest warrant but were not permitted to see it when they asked. The arresting authorities simply told the parents that they could either see it at the police station or in court.

6.3

6.4

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[At-Tur] “At around 4:00 am, I was sleeping when I woke up to banging on our door. My father opened the door and many policemen stormed the house and came to my room. I was very scared.” Sami H. (16 years) – Arrested: 22 October 2011 [‟Isawiyya] “At around 5:00 am, I was sleeping when I suddenly woke up to shouting inside the house. I left my room and went out to the hall and saw five Israeli soldiers. One of them was speaking in Arabic. He was shouting loudly and asking my father about me. „What do you want from him?‟ my father asked. „He has to come with us now because there‟s an arrest warrant against him,‟ the soldier said. My father requested to see the warrant, but the soldier shouted at him and said: „This is not your business; just give us the boy now.‟ My father refused and they knocked him down.” Rami D. (14 years) – Arrested: 21 September 2011 [Shu‟fat camp] “At around 4:00 am, I woke up to shouting and banging on the door. I was very scared, but I got up to see what was going on. I saw five policemen from the Special Forces talking to my father. All of them except their officer had their faces covered.” „Ata Q. (15 years) – Arrested: 4 December 2011

B. 6.5

Hand ties (96%) and blindfolds (61%) In 22 out of 23 cases (96 percent), the children were handcuffed, often painfully so, and in 14 cases (61 percent), they were also blindfolded. This represents a significant increase in the percentage of similar reported cases over the previous six-month period – up from 56 and 12 percent respectively. Under section 10B of the Israeli Youth (Trial, Punishment and Modes of Treatment) Law, alternatives to restraints should always be considered and they should not be used beyond what is strictly necessary. Restraints should only be used to prevent escape or to prevent harm to others, and should never cause pain and suffering to the child.17

17

See also: UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – Article 37(c); the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – General Comment No. 10 – paragraph 89; the UN Standard Minimum Rules – rules 33 and 34; and the Tokyo Rules – rule 64.

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[Shu‟fat camp] “They took me out of the house and forced me to walk with them for about 200 metres in my pyjamas. It was really cold outside that night. We approached a vehicle and they blindfolded me and tightened it up. They put me in the vehicle and it travelled fast and for a long time. I could not balance myself because I was handcuffed and blindfolded, so I fell on a soldier. He slapped me hard across the face and one more time on the neck. „Why are you slapping me? It‟s the driver‟s fault,‟ I said. He pulled my hair and ordered me to „shut up you animal, dog.‟ I was scared of him, so I did not say a word.” Musa R. (15 years) – Arrested: 14 December 2011 [Shu‟fat camp] “A soldier tied my hands behind my back with one single plastic tie and kept dragging me on the ground all the way to a vehicle. Then he put me in the car and one of them hit me on the back of my head so hard, I almost passed out.” Jaber A. (14 years) – Arrested: 14 December 2011

[Shu‟fat camp] “I was very scared. They took me away from my father and dragged me out of the house. They forced me to walk with them in my pyjamas for about 20 metres, and handcuffed me behind my back. Then, they took me to a police car and blindfolded me.” „Ata Q. (15 years) – Arrested: 4 December 2011

C. 6.6

Physical violence (91%) In 21 out of 23 cases (91 percent), the children report experiencing some form of physical violence during their arrest, transfer or interrogation. This represents a significant increase in the percentage of similar reported cases over the previous six-month period – up from 50 percent. The types of violence typically reported include punching, slapping, hair pulling and kicking. Although law enforcement officers conducting a lawful arrest are permitted to use reasonable and proportional force in order to affect an arrest, many children report being subjected to violence after they have been taken into custody, and in some cases, whilst tied. The UN Committee against Torture has concluded that in circumstances where law enforcement or military personnel use excessive force, this may amount to torture and/or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In order to make such a determination, the particular facts of each individual case must be considered, and

6.7

11

subjective factors, such as age and position of inferiority must be taken into consideration.18
[Al Mascobiyya] “Then an interrogator in civilian clothes came into the room and slapped me across the face. „What do you have against Jewish graves?‟ he asked. „I got nothing against them,‟ I said. Then the interrogator grabbed me by my hair and knocked me down. „Now you‟ll confess to vandalising the Jewish graves,‟ he said. „I didn‟t do anything,‟ I said, and he kept hitting me for about 10 minutes.” Omar H. (16 years) – Arrested: 11 July 2011 [Al Mascobiyya] “They first handcuffed my hands from the front. The car travelled very fast until we arrived at Al Mascobiyya interrogation centre. They pulled me out of the car and one of them kicked me several times. „You threw stones at the tram,‟ he said. After that I was taken to Room 4 and forced to stand against the wall with my hands still handcuffed. They kept me this way for three hours.” Ibrahim Z. (16 years) – Arrested: 6 September 2011 [Al Mascobiyya] “When I arrived at Al Mascobiyya, they pulled me out and one of them hit me in the back with the barrel of his rifle, and I felt so much pain. They took me inside and forced me to sit on the floor which was very cold. „Wait here,‟ he said and kept me sitting there for about one-and-a-half hours, handcuffed and blindfolded.” Musa R. (15 years) – Arrested: 14 December 2011

D. 6.8

Threats (87%) and verbal abuse (57%) In 20 out of 23 cases (87 percent), the children report being threatened, most commonly during their interrogation. In a further 13 cases (57 percent), the children also report being verbally abused. This represents a significant increase in the percentage of similar reported cases over the previous six-month period – up from 44 and 19 percent respectively. The absolute prohibition against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment relates not only to acts that cause physical pain, but

18

See: The United Nations Convention Against Torture – A Commentary, Nowak and McArthur (2008) – pages 62, 66, 542, 557, 559 and 566 to 568; International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia, Prosecutor v Brdjanin, Case No. IT-99-38-T, Trial Chamber, 1 September 2004 – paragraphs 83 to 484.

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also acts that cause mental suffering to the victim, such as intimidation and other forms of threats.19
[Al Mascobiyya] “He made me stand against the wall for about halfan-hour. After that, they forced me to sit in a very dirty chair and lower my head. I tried to lift my head but a policeman would shout at me: „You donkey, you dog, keep your head down.‟” Basel O. (17 years) – Arrested: 2 August 2011

[Al Mascobiyya] “„Don‟t shout at the boy,‟ my father said. „Get the hell out of here,‟ the interrogator shouted and my father shouted back at him, but he was eventually kicked out of the room. The interrogator came back to the room and kept interrogating me. „Now you have no one, so you‟ll tell the truth no matter what,‟ he said. „I told you I didn‟t throw any stones,‟ I said and he approached me and started hitting me on my head. „It seems I need to deal with you differently,‟ he said. „We‟ll take you to a room and shock you with electricity and then put you in a cell for one week until you tell the truth,‟ he said. I was so scared I had to tell the interrogator I threw stones at a police car.” Ibrahim Z. (16 years) – Arrested: 2 August 2011 [Al Mascobiyya] “„We have evidence proving you were throwing stones,‟ the interrogator said. „That‟s not true,‟ I said. „It seems you won‟t confess the easy way, so now we‟ll send you to court to get 10 days in detention and then we‟ll put you alone in a cell,‟ he said, and I started crying because I was very scared.” Rami D. (14 years) – Arrested: 21 September 2011

E. 5.8

Interrogated in the absence of a parent (91%) In 21 out of 23 cases (91 percent), the children report being questioned without a parent for at least part of their interrogation. This represents a significant increase in the percentage of similar reported cases over the previous six-month period – up from 69 percent. In some cases, a parent was initially allowed into the interrogation room, but was later removed, usually after objecting to the way their child was being questioned.

19

Report of the Special Rapporteur: Question of torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (2001) – A/56/156/

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Ensuring that a parent is present during questioning not only calms the child, but also provides some protection against the use of improper and illegal interrogation techniques.
[Al Mascobiyya] “I would like to say that I heard my father shouting and asking to be allowed into the interrogation room, but they kicked him out. I was alone with the interrogator. My hands were kept tied behind my back and the interrogator beat me a lot and insulted me.” Ihab R. (15 years) – Arrested: 7 December 2011

[Al Mascobiyya] “They took me to a room. A man in civilian clothes was sitting behind a desk with a computer in front of him. „You threw stones at the Hebrew University and the hospital in Jerusalem a few days ago,‟ the interrogator said to me.‟ That‟s not true,‟ I said. He got up and approached me and started slapping me across the face and hitting me all over my body. He did all this before my father came to attend the interrogation.” Rami D. (14 years) – Arrested: 21 September 2011 [Al Mascobiyya] “Then I was taken to a room where a man in civilian clothes was sitting behind a desk. „Sit down in the chair,‟ he said when I walked into the room. The man then got up and approached me. „Why did you throw stones at the new tram in Jerusalem?‟ he asked. „I didn‟t,‟ I said. „You‟re lying,‟ he said and slapped me hard across the face. „Don‟t lie because there‟s evidence you were throwing stones,‟ he said. „I didn‟t throw any stones,‟ I said. Then my father came into the interrogation room.” Ibrahim Z. (16 years) – Arrested: 6 September 2011

F. 5.9

Confession during interrogation (57%) In 13 out of 23 cases (57 percent), the children report confessing at the end of what is, in many cases, a coercive interrogation. This represents an increase in the percentage of similar reported cases over the previous six-month period – up from 19 percent. In other cases, children report being forced to sign documents written in Hebrew without understanding their contents. Accordingly, a number of children do not know whether they signed confessions or not.

[Al Mascobiyya] “„If you confess now, you‟ll go home without going to the court,‟ the interrogator said. „But if you don‟t, then you‟ll go to court and stay in prison for a long time,‟ he added. I was so scared I confessed to throwing stones at a military jeep in „Isawiyya.” Bashar M. (12 years) – Arrested: 20 November 2011

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[Al Mascobiyya] “The interrogation was very tough, and the interrogator kept threatening to beat me. He kept shouting and I could not bear it, so I confessed to throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, although I never did it. I had to confess because I could not bear the humiliation, and I was scared of him.” Mohammad R. (16 years) – Arrested: 21 November 2011 [Al Mascobiyya] “He kept shouting at me and threatening to beat me. I was very scared of him and kept crying [DCI lawyer records that Majd now bursts into tears]. „I‟ll send you home today if you confess,‟ he said to me while I was crying, and I actually believed him. And because I was scared of him, I confessed to throwing Molotov cocktails once but it did not explode. I never threw it, but I had to say that because I could not stand it anymore.” Majd S. (16 years) – Arrested: 21 November 2011

G. 5.10

Signed/shown documents written in Hebrew (74%) In 17 out of 23 cases (74 percent), the children report being shown, or forced to sign, documentation written in Hebrew – a language the overwhelming majority of Palestinian children do not understand. This represents a significant increase in the percentage of similar reported cases over the previous six-month period – up from 44 percent.

[Al Mascobiyya] “After he finished interrogating me, he printed out papers in Hebrew, even though the interrogation was in Arabic, and ordered me to sign them. He told me it was „my confession‟ and I need to sign them so „I get help in court‟. I was scared of him, so I signed. Musa R. (15 years) – Arrested: 14 December 2011

15 [Al Mascobiyya] “The interrogation lasted for about an hour [...] The entire time my hands were handcuffed behind my back. The papers he printed out were in Hebrew and he didn‟t explain their contents to me.” Rami D. (14 years) – Arrested: 21 September 2011 [Al Mascobiyya] “The interrogator printed out papers in Hebrew and ordered me to sign them. I was so scared I had to sign them without knowing their contents. He didn‟t explain or translate them for me. Then, I was taken to the detention centre.” Ibrahim Z. (16 years) – Arrested: 6 September 2011

6. 6.1

Concluding remarks and recommendations During the reporting period, DCI-Palestine has documented a significant rise in the frequency of a number of violations, including night time arrests, the use of hand ties and blindfolds, physical violence, threats and verbal abuse, interrogations in the absence of parents and the signing of documents written in Hebrew. One possible explanation for this apparent increase is the location of the arrests: in 25 out of 68 cases (37 percent), the children were arrested from Shu‟fat refugee camp, which is separated from Jerusalem by the Wall. It is possible that Israeli security forces conduct themselves in a different manner when operating east of the Wall, than in urban areas of Jerusalem. Whilst noting “that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status [...] of Jerusalem, or any part thereof have no legal validity and that Israel‟s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,”20 DCI-Palestine makes the following recommendations: (i) The immediate end to the use of violence by the Israeli army and police during the arrest, transfer and interrogation of children in East Jerusalem; No child should be interrogated in the absence of their parents and all interrogations must be audio-visually recorded; and All credible allegations of torture and/or ill-treatment must be thoroughly and impartially investigated and those found responsible for such abuse be brought promptly to justice.

6.2

(ii)

(iii)

20

UN Security Council Resolution 465 of 1980.

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Annexure A Executive summary (1 January– 30 June 2011) 1.1 Since the commencement of 2010, organisations working in East Jerusalem have reported a sharp increase in the number of children being arrested and accused of throwing stones. Most of these children come from the neighbourhood of Silwan, which is situated just outside the walls of the Old City, and is home to approximately 16,500 Palestinians. According to the UN, Silwan has become one of the main centres of Israeli settlement activity and is currently home to 380 settlers who live in properties taken over by various means from their original Palestinian residents. According to the UN, Palestinian residents of Silwan report harassment and intimidation by the settlers and their security guards, and clashes between residents and soldiers and police are frequent, which in turn, leads in many cases to arrest and detention. On 21 June 2010, the Jerusalem Municipality‟s Planning and Building Committee approved a plan to demolish 22 Palestinian houses in Silwan to make way for an archaeological garden, adding to tensions in the neighbourhood. This report covers the period 1 January to 30 June 2011 (the reporting period), and is based on 118 cases in which DCI-Palestine provided legal assistance to children detained during the reporting period. The report also relies on the sworn testimonies of 16 children detained during the same period. The most common complaints and issues of concern raised by the 16 children in their testimonies are presented in the following table: Table 1 – Common complaints and issues of concern – 1 January to 30 June 2011 Number of Percentage # Common complaints and issues of concern cases of children 1 Not informed of the right to silence 16 100% 2 Interrogated in the absence of a parent 11 69% 3 Hand ties 9 56% 4 Physical violence 8 50% 5 Threats 7 44% 6 Signed/shown documents written in Hebrew 7 44% 7 Arrested between midnight and 5:00 am 5 31% 8 Verbal abuse 3 19% 9 Confession during interrogation 3 19% 10 Blindfolds 2 12% 11 Detained with adults 2 12% 12 Interrogation of children under 12 years 2 12%

1.2

1.3

17

ANNEX – 2 Key
1 2 3 4 5 6 Arrested between midnight and 5:00 am. Hands ties Blindfolds Physical violence Threats Verbal abuse 7 8 9 10 11 12 Interrogated in the absence of a parent Signed/shown documents in Hebrew Confession during interrogation Detained with adults Interrogation of children under 12 years Not informed of the right to silence

Table 6 – Cumulative table of issues of concern – 1 July to 31 December 2011
# 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Name Ahmad A. Omar H. Omar A.H. Basel O. Ahmad H. Ibrahim Z. Rami D. Khalil J. Sami H. Bashar M. Anas D. Mohammad R. Majd S. Mohammad R. Husam H. Belal R. „Ata Q. Ihab R. Mohammad S. Anas R. Ismail S. Jaber A. Musa R. Age 15 15 16 17 14 16 14 16 16 12 13 13 16 16 15 15 15 15 16 17 16 14 15 Date of arrest 3 Jul 11 Jul 11 Jul 2 Aug 14 Aug 6 Sep 21 Sep 19 Oct 22 Oct 20 Nov 20 Nov 20 Nov 21 Nov 21 Nov 22 Nov 4 Dec 4 Dec 7 Dec 7 Dec 7 Dec 7 Dec 14 Dec 14 Dec 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Totals

14
61%

22
96%

14
61%

21
91%

20
87%

13
57%

21
91%

17
74%

13
57%

0
0%

0
0%

17
74%