HEBRON (Ma’an) — Two Palestinian youths being held in Israel’s Etzion detention center south of Bethlehem have been beaten by Israeli officers, a lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said Sunday.
Jacklin Fararja recently visited Badri Abu Zalata, 14, and Kazhim al-Najjar, 16, and said they told her they had been punched and assaulted with rifle butts in the face.
Fararja added that the two minors would be transferred to Ofer detention center near Ramallah.
The two were recently detained near the separation wall near their village in the Hebron region, she said.
In late June, a Palestinian Authority lawyer said that more than 250 Palestinian children were being held in Israeli prison, a number that has likely increased since then as more than 1,500 Palestinians have been detained since.
Around 7,000 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons.
According to a 2013 report by the UN’s Children’s Fund, Israel is the only country in the world where children are systematically tried in military courts and subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.”
Over the past decade, Israeli forces have arrested, interrogated, and prosecuted around 7,000 children between 12 and 17, mostly boys, at a rate of “an average of two children each day,” UNICEF said.