Palestinian child prisoners

 From Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association (CADFA),  PO Box 34265 London NW5 2WD - This is the text of a letter that we are also collecting in hard copy. We will formally present all letters signed by people from the UK to the UK Foreign Office and send all letters from people in the UK and in other places in Europe to the European Parliament.

Child Prisoner Campaign (part of CADFA)

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Letter to be delivered to British Foreign Office and also to EU Parliament

There are hundreds of children detained by the Israeli military and they are not tried justly or looked after properly.  Children are just some of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by the Israeli occupation forces. Under international conventions, children should be treated differently from adults. But just like Palestinian adult prisoners, children are subjected to hardships at the hands of the military before they ‘confess’, made to sign false confessions in a language they can’t read, subject to military courts, denied special care. 

This picture shows the children in prison from just Abu Dis (a small town) at just one point in late 2010.  

Further information in our human rights reports

See child prisoner leaflet

Terrible stories are reported by young people in Palestine and by members of their families: in Abu Dis recently...

  • Khalil Qrei (aged 13) was told if he signed a paper in Hebrew, he could go home right away. He was later told this was a ‘confession’ and he was kept in prison.
  • Mohammed Eriqat (aged 16) was shot and seriously wounded by the Israeli army during his arrest and taken to prison in Israel where his family were not allowed to visit
  • Mahmoud Jaffal (aged 13) showed the court how his hands had been squashed to make him confess.  
  • Mohammed Halabiyeh (age 16) broke his leg when he ran from the soldiers. Later, they beat him on that leg and they haven’t given him any special care
  • Amir Boustami (age 16) was beaten badly in his house during a midnight raid when soldiers came to arrest him. When he came to trial, his father had a heart attack.
  • Walid Sharaf (age 17) who is chronically sick has problems with his hands that mean he cannot throw things – yet he was arrested and told he would be charged for throwing molotovs.  Soldiers refused to let him take his medicine with him. He has been taken seriously ill and taken to hospital from the jail, but his parents have not been told and heard only by rumour.

I call on the British government and on the European Union to take the following action:

 1.To raise again the issue of child imprisonment with the Israeli authorities and ask them to stand by the international laws relating to child imprisonment. 

 2. To take firm action to ensure that Israel respects human rights. The European Union has raised the issue of child imprisonment with the Israeli government and on the ground people report cosmetic changes to the system.  For example, parents are now (newly) called to come after the children are arrested. But their sons are still often beaten to get a confession before the parents arrive. Hundreds of children continue to be abused at the hands of the military and their friends, family and society continue to suffer. Clearly further, stronger international pressure is needed.   

 3. Article 2 of the EU-Israel Trade Agreement binds  those taking part in it to respect human rights.  Unfortunately the rights of these children are just some of the human rights that Israel has violated repeatedly and systematically. I believe that the time has come to suspend the EU-Israel trade agreement until the human rights of Palestinians are respected.

 4. To work with urgency to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine which is underlying the current terrible situation.


Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association    Contact the author of the petition