Two Children Arrested in Night Raid on Beit Ommar

11 June 2012

Last night, at 2:30am (Monday, June 11th, 2012), Israeli Occupation Forces based in the illegal settlement of Karmei Tsur raided several houses in Beit Ommar, arresting two children.

Hamouda Jamal Abu Hashim, aged 13, and Malik Jawad Za’aqiq, aged 15, were arrested from their homes by Israeli soldiers, who fired live ammunition, tear gas, and sound bombs during the assault on the town.

Hamouda has since been released, after being subjected to intimidation and interrogated in the early hours of the morning, a tactic widely used by the Israeli military which has recently drawn the anger of several human rights groups. At the time of writing, Malik remains in detention.

Arresting and detaining minors – often without charge – is a tactic commonly practiced by the Israeli military. Aside from the obvious trauma of being arrested, often during a nighttime raid, these children also face intimidating and threatening interrogations, aimed at extracting false confessions and implicating Palestinian organisers. They are held in overcrowded prisons, often alongside adult prisoners, where conditions are poor. Detention also often results in the child missing crucial periods of schooling and exams. Child detainees are usually denied any contact with their family while they await trial.

Money is badly needed to support the hundreds of Palestinian youth arrested this year. The staggering bail costs, legal fees, and fines associated with each arrest is often difficult, if not impossible, for the youth’s families to pay. Please support the Palestinian youth, and consider donating to the Palestinian Youth Bail Fund – a project which helps families meet these costs.