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Palestinian minors suffer immense abuse in Israeli jails: Rights group

Palestinian (The Palestine Information Centre) Palestinian minors suffer immense emotional and physical abuse in Israeli prisons, the Save the Children group said in a new report published on Monday.

There was a marked increase in the number of young Palestinians suffering nightmares and insomnia and having difficulty returning to normal life due to the imprisonment conditions they faced, the rights group said.

Some of those Palestinian youth spoke of violence of a sexual nature. Many others were beaten, handcuffed, and blindfolded in small cages in detention centers and upon being moved between centers, Save the Children said. They were also interrogated at unknown locations without the presence of a guardian and were often deprived of food, water, and sleep.

The Israeli regime even denied the imprisoned Palestinian minors access to legal counsel.

The report said 86 percent of the 228 minor detainees surveyed were beaten in detention, and 69 percent were strip-searched. 42 percent were injured while being arrested; the injuries included gunshot wounds and broken bones.

Khalil, who was arrested when he was 13, said he did not receive essential healthcare.

“I had an injury in my leg. I had a cast and had to crawl to be able to move. I felt my body being torn apart. I had no crutches to help me walk, I kept asking soldiers for help during the transfer, but no one helped me,” Save the Children quoted him as saying.

The group said the former child detainees surveyed were from the occupied West Bank and had been detained between one and 18 months.

“The main alleged crime for these detentions is stone-throwing, which can carry a 20-year sentence in prison for Palestinian children,” Save the Children report said.

Jason Lee, Save the Children’s country director in the occupied Palestinian territories, said Palestinian children constitute the only group of minor prisoners in the world to go through systematic prosecution in military courts.

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