Israeli atrocities against Palestinian children
Though the world chose to be a silent spectator to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intention of extending Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the Jewish state reacted very strongly to a mild-worded report by the Committee on the Rights of Children over “torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children.” The body of independent legal experts, tasked by the United Nations to monitor the protection of children rights in signatory states, issued a reminder to Israel to fulfill its responsibility to prevent torture of children, highlighting ground realities in occupied territories where Israeli forces keep killing Palestinian minors and adults alike. The committee expressed “its deepest concern about the reported practice of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children arrested, prosecuted and detained by the military and the police, and about the State party’s failure to end these practices in spite of repeated concerns expressed by treaty bodies.” The report mentioned Israeli forces’ brutal methods such as physical and verbal violence, humiliation, painful restraints, hooding of the head and face in a sack, threatening with death, physical violence, and sexual assault against themselves or members of their family and restricted access to toilet, food and water.
Though the report hardly evoked any reaction from the world, Israel was quick to dub it as ‘bold, scandalous lie’. Social media and international channels document and air Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories but the Israeli state said the report was not based on any direct investigation on the ground. The fact is Israel never let independent bodies into the occupied territories. A few weeks ago, it did not allow a US congress member, whose family lives in occupied area, to visit them. Also, a UNICEF report about the treatment of Palestinian children highlighted “widespread, systematic and institutionalised” abuse of minors detained by Israeli security forces in the West Bank.
It seems Israel has been given a license to brazenly flout all international laws and humanitarian norms. Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said he would extend Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank as part of his election promise. Netanyahu has long been playing the role of a reckless, uncontrolled brat in the Arab region with the backing of the US. This will continue unless the Arab world unites and, with the help of European and Muslim countries, puts pressure on the US to change its policy of backing every step of the Jewish state and realise the two-state solution. *
Ending tax officials’ inspection of factories