- Defence for Children International (DCI) Palestine Section
(DCI/Palestine) "is a national section of the international non-government
child rights organisation and movement (dedicated) to promoting and protecting
the rights of Palestinian children," according to international law
- Two earlier articles addressed their work, accessed though
the following links:
- Both covered Israel's systematic, institutionalized use
of torture of Palestinian children as brutally as against adults. DCI/Palestine's
latest September Bulletin adds more, saying:
- "For the first time....three (documented) cases
of children reporting being given electric shocks by Israeli interrogators
(occurred) in Ari'el Settlement." Each was accused of stone throwing.
Electric shocking extracted confessions although the boys maintain their
- DCI and PACTI (the Public Committee Against Torture in
Israel) demanded Israel investigate reports that a Gush Etzion settlement
interrogator "attached car battery jump leads to the genitals of a
14-year old boy in order to obtain a confession to stone throwing."
- The August 5 incident involved four boys walking near
a road used by settlers when an Israeli jeep approached. "Just for
fun," one boy waved. The jeep turned, was joined by others, and chased
the boys. They were seized, blindfolded, painfully shackled, detained,
and taken to the Zufin settlement, then to the Ari'el settlement where
one boy, Raed, was interrogated.
- Though innocent, "Threat of electrocution"
made him confess to stone throwing, after which his head was slammed against
a cupboard. He was also punched in the stomach, and a second interrogator
shocked him with a handheld device, making him dizzy and shiver. He then
signed a confession in Hebrew he couldn't understand, was transferred to
Salem Interrogation and Detention Center, after which he was taken to Megiddo
Prison, in violation of Fourth Geneva's Article 76, pertaining to the rights
assured protected persons detained under occupation.
- A second incident involved a 17-year old boy, Malek,
falsely accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. About 30 soldiers
arrested and brutalized him like Raed before transferring him to Ofer Prison.
On arrival, he was painfully struck on the head, then interrogated and
threatened with physical violence and rape if he didn't confess. "He
denied both accusations" during a two hour interrogation.
- On September 15, 13-year old Khalil was arrested and
accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail. At 1AM, Israeli soldiers smashed
windows of his family's home, searched it, and took him to Ma'ale Adumin
settlement. Though innocent, he was threatened with rape and intimidated
to confess. He signed a six page document in Hebrew he didn't understand
and has been detained at Ofer prison.
- An earlier incident involved 16 year old Moatasem, arrested
on March 20. He remains in administrative detention without charge or trial,
at best hoping for a December release. Like the others, from arrest to
detention, he was brutalized. During interrogation, he was asked about
a plot involving a riot, bullets and weapons with no further explanation,
something he knew nothing about and said so. On March 25, he was ordered
administratively held for six months, then extended three more on September
- On average, from January 2008 - September 2010, Israel
held over 300 Palestinian children captive, about 10% of them aged 12 -
15. Usually when complaints or requests for investigations into child arrests
and mistreatment are submitted to the Judge Advocate General's Office (JAG),
responses aren't forthcoming or issued raised are denied.
- Shooting Children Collecting Building Gravel
- Separately, DCI/Palestine reported on 12 incidents from
May 22 - October 14, 2010, involving children aged 13 - 17, collecting
gravel near Gaza's border fence with Israel. Under siege, Israel banned
construction materials, forcing hundreds of men and boys to scavenge for
what they can find, collecting gravel, placing it in sacks, loading it
on donkeys, then selling it to builders for concrete.
- In border watch towers, Israeli soldiers at times shoot
and kill donkeys. They also target workers, usually shooting at their legs.
In recent DCI/Palestine-documented cases, children reported being shot
while working from 50 - 800 meters from the border.
- In addition, a UN January 2009 - August 2010 study reported
at least 22 Gazan civilians killed and 146 injured by live fire adjacent
to Israel's border, including 27 children.
- Of DCI's 12 documented cases, nine "were on, or
outside the 300 metre exclusion zone unilaterally imposed by the Israeli
army when they were shot." Under all circumstances with no exceptions,
international law prohibits targeting noncombatant civilians. Israel, of
course, flouts all international laws with impunity.
- On November 10 and 11, DCI/Palestine in cooperation with
DCI's International Executive Council and DCI International Secretariat,
Geneva, will conduct an International Children's Conference titled, "Protective
Environment - Active Participation," under the motto - "Together
We Build and Change."
- DCI explains that "Child participation is one of
the four basic principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child."
Under occupation, involving them is especially important to address their
collective needs, interests, and concerns. The upcoming conference thus
encourages children to participate and facilitates it "by finding
the spaces for them to carry it out."
- Some Final Comments
- On October 19, palestinethinktank.com published a wide-ranging
interview with Khaled Mesh'al, since 1996, Chairman of Hamas' Political
Bureau. Exiled in Damascus, he became the movement's overall leader after
Israel assassinated Abdul 'Aziz Rantisi in 2004. His comments below are
based on a July published interview in Jordan's Arabic language Al-Sabeel
- (1) Negotiating with Israel
- Calling it a thorny and sensitive issue, he stressed
that it's "not absolutely prohibited....from a legal or political
perspective," but must be subject to "equations, regulations,
calculations, circumstances, contexts and proper management...." Otherwise,
"it becomes a negative and destructive tool."
- Currently, he calls it the wrong choice, given the imbalance
of power favoring Israel, saying it "refuses to withdraw from the
(seized) land, and does not recognise Palestinian rights." Negotiations
under such conditions are fruitless. Israel demands but won't give. On
equal fair terms, negotiations are very acceptable.
- (2) Recognizing Israel
- As things now stand, he believes recognition means legitimizing
occupation, "aggression, settlement(s), Judaization, murders, arrests,
and other crimes and atrocities against our people and our land."
Recognition must be earned, not demanded or given, based on equity for
both sides. Israel shows no sign of agreeing.
- (3) Suggesting Israel and international insistence on
recognition a sign of weakness, not stength
- "Without a doubt, the enemy is concerned about (its)
future....no matter" its regional strength. "The demand for recognition
is certainly a sign of weakness, an expression of....inferiority, (and)
a feeling that it is illegitimate and still rejected" by regional
states "as alien" intruders.
- However, superiority feelings also come into play, or
in other words, the way "Western nations deal with third world countries,"
believing they alone dictate terms from a position of strength, including
- (4) Why Israel and the international community reject
Hamas' proposed long-term truce
- First, "the logic of power." Second, "they
see Arab and Palestinian parties making (better) offers." Third, Israeli
and Western experience suggests pressure works best, forcing adversaries
or counterparties to succumb.
- (5) Hamas' resistance model
- It's "a natural and authentic part of the experience
of the Palestinian struggle" for liberation and ending the occupation.
- (6) Hamas and international relations
- First, the "conviction that the Palestine battle
(is for) humanity against Israeli injustice and oppression. Second, "the
necessity of promoting (the) legitimate right to resist occupation and
aggression." Third, the importance of using the world stage to address
injustice. Fourth, concern for developing relations at all levels. Fifth,
doing it begins in the region, "the plant (to) harvest (in) the West."
- (7) Hamas and Jews
- "We do not fight the Zionists because they are Jews;
we fight them because they are occupiers," and commit crimes against
the Palestinian people. The struggle isn't about religion.
- (8) Hamas and women
- "Women in the Islamic concept of thought, jurisprudence,
mandate and role are - indeed - one half of society, and (have) been given
(their) prestige and respect. However, there is a huge difference between
respect and appreciation for women and (their) rightful role (on the one
hand), and abusing (them) and presenting (them) as cheap commodit(ies)
as is done in the Western civilization (on the other)." In Palestine's
struggle for liberation, women play a distinctive role,"not only as
mothers, wives and sisters," but as activists, teachers, fighters,
and providers of logistical assistance.
- (9) Zionism's future
- It "has no future in the region." It's in decline,
and except for attacking Beirut in 1982, Israel hasn't won a war since
1967. "This is an important indicator of the Zionist project's ability....In
my estimation, the 'Greater Israel' project has come to an end, simply
because the Zionist enemy is no longer able to accomplish it, and because
Israel continues (self-destructively) on the same path as did apartheid
- (10) Israel's role as a regional strategic asset
- It's no longer so, especially after the Goldstone Report
and Gaza Flotilla massacre. As a result, "Israel is falling morally,
and its true ugly face is being exposed. This is a very important development."
It signifies "premature aging of this enterprise....In short, the
Zionist project, like all other" forms of occupation, colonizations,
and aggression, "has no legitimacy because it is alien to our region
and lacks the elements of survival." It will end like all the others.
- (11) The region's future
- It's very much in flux with years before better resolution.
- However, we're "confiden(t) and hop(eful) that the
future will be to the benefit of the nation and the Palestinian resistance
and cause....Our reading is not fanciful, and is certainly not defeatist."
It's realistic and achievable.
- "We are a great nation, proud of ourselves, our
religion, our land, our history, our culture and identity." Palestine
and Jerusalem as one is "our beating heart and an indicator of our
life and survival."
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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