In 2006, Israel continued its policy of arresting and imprisoning Palestinian children. Some 700 Palestinian children (under 18) were arrested by Israeli soldiers over the course of the year. Of these, around 25 children were held on administrative detention orders, imprisonment without charge or trial. The overwhelming majority of those arrested in 2006 were boys; there were eight girl child prisoners who served sentences at different points during the year. Of these, four had been arrested in 2006.
At any given point during the year, there were between 340 and 420 Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons and detention centers in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), with around 380 held at the end of the year. Of these, around 300 were being held in central prisons, either pending trial or after having been sentenced. The remaining 80 were being held in interrogation and detention centers. The number of children arrested in 2006 brings the total number of Palestinian children arrested by Israel since the beginning of the second Intifada in September 2000 to approximately 5,200.
Palestinian child political prisoners routinely face violations of their human rights during the arrest through imprisonment process. They are exposed to physical and psychological abuse, often amounting to torture. They are denied prompt access to an attorney and often denied contact with their families and the outside world. Many are held without charge or trial. They face substandard, often inhumane, conditions of detention, both in the facilities where they are initially held and interrogated and in those where they await trial and serve their sentence.
Moreover, they are frequently denied access to proper medical care. In many cases, the arrest, interrogation and imprisonment experience has psycho-social effects that extend far beyond the period of detention.
To download the Palestinian Child Political Prisoners 2006 Report (PDF) click here.