SHAFAQNA – A recently released report says 182 Palestinian children were being held as security prisoners in Israeli jails at the end of February. The number showed an increase of 12 percent compared to the figure recorded in January, according to the report published on Wednesday by Military Court Watch, a Palestinian voluntary association focused on the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli detention. The group said the minors were among a total of 5,609 Palestinians from East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, who were being held in connection with the conflict between Palestine and the Tel Aviv regime at the end of February. More than half of the 182 children were in prisons located outside of the occupied Palestinian territories, the report said.
It said that 25 of those children were between 14 and 15 years old while 157 of them were aged 16-17. A report released last month by Hussam Association of Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners also showed that Israeli forces detained 285 Palestinians only in February 2015, among them 30 children aged under 18. More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, dozens of whom are serving multiple life sentences. About 540 Palestinians are being held without trial under the so-called administrative detention.
Administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.