Committee: Attack on minors in captivity evidence of Israel’s brutality

Committee: Attack on minors in captivity evidence of Israel’s brutality

Riad Ashkar, the committee’s Media Director, clarified in a press statement on Tuesday that two nights ago the Israeli prison administration, accompanied by special units, carried out a raid operation on the minors’ section of the Megiddo prison, which houses around 100 children under eighteen years of age, alleging that it was part of an inspection operation to find three mobile phones smuggled by prisoners into the section to contact their loved ones.

The special units began by violently removing underage prisoners and assaulting them with insults. They then turned around the contents of the minors’ cells, damaged their personal items, and tore their clothing, in addition to emptying liquids such as oil and juice on their mattresses and blankets. In turn, the youngsters protested against the unusual inspection practices, which to the prisoners appeared to be an act of revenge.

The prison’s administration then made a declaration of alert and summoned an additional special forces unit, known as Nahshon, for backup, who in turn sprayed the minors with poisonous gas and struck them with their batons and feet, causing suffocation and bruises to more than 13 children, while others were taken to solitary confinement.

Ashkar added that when prisoners in other sections came to know about the raid into the minors’ section, they began to protest in an attempt to put pressure on the prison administration to lessen the attack on their minor colleagues and stop the raid. The administration was thereby prompted to declare a general state of alert in the prison, and called on additional troops to back the special units, who raided all sections of the Megiddo prison, which is home to more than 700 prisoners, and assaulted prisoners by way of battery, insults, and poisonous gas. The barbaric operation lasted for about 23 hours, ending at about 2:00 am last night, and resulting in the injury of more than 27 prisoners.

Ashkar clarified that most of the prisoners’ injuries were minor and resulted from inhaling gas or taking blows by sticks or kicks to the legs. Nevertheless, the raid itself paired with the practice of aggressive and barbaric assault of minors exceeds the limit of a standard inspection for prohibited items, as alleged by the administration, to an attempt to break the will of the prisoners, humiliate them, and deliberately inflict injuries on them.

The Supreme Committee for Prisoners calls on international organizations to quickly intervene to protect incarcerated minors, and emphasizes that committees should be sent to investigate the repeated assaults against captives in Israeli prisons.