NGO accuses Israel of violations against underage detainees

NGO accuses Israel of violations against underage detainees

NAZARETH, — The Defense for Children International (DCI) has accused the Israeli Shin Bet security service of committing violations against Palestinian juveniles in detention, highlighting the force’s harsh treatment against suspects in even the most minor assault cases against Israeli settlers.

The organization reported Wednesday that the Shin Bet arrested two children from the town of Usaira suspected in setting fire near the Yitzhar settlement in the West Bank before they were jailed for three weeks at Shin Bet headquarters in Petah Tekva.

The 15- and 16-year-old victims were taken from their homes in Asira after police raided their houses in search for the perpetrators in the arson July 2 near Yitzhar. They were taken in cuffs and blindfolds.

The boys were held in solitary confinement in a cell without windows or ventilation for an entire week and were later released without indictment or being transferred to court.

The children said that food was scarce during their three week stay, and they were not allowed to leave the cell for fresh air except for a half an hour only each day.

They were allowed visits by family members one time during their detainment but were ordered not to speak to them face to face.

“A prison guard called ‘Jihad’ threatened to shock us with electricity if we did not confess over charges we did not commit,” they recalled.

Fortunately, the Israeli Shin Bet quit investigating after discovering the boys had actually been in school at the time of the fire.