ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has hit out at the “deeply concerning” and “completely discriminatory” treatment of Palestinian child prisoners by the Israeli authorities.
Mr Danczuk, a former chairman of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, made the comments during a Parliamentary debate on the issue.
A recent UNICEF report showed an alarming number of allegations of ill treatment during the arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention of children in the occupied territories.
The alleged abuse includes the use of painful plastic ties to restrain young prisoners and the arresting of children in the middle of the night in terrifying military raids.
Such treatment breaks both the Geneva Convention and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mr Danczuk cited a UN report which found that, out of 208 affidavits from child prisoners, 91% of those spoken to reported having their hands-tied painfully and 82% reported physical abuse of some sort.
He also highlighted the fact that many Palestinian child prisoners are not allowed to be accompanied by their parents and are not always aware of their right to remain silent.
The MP, who has visited the region twice to see the plight of the Palestinian people, said: “The treatment of child prisoners in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is deeply concerning, counterproductive and completely discriminatory.
“Currently in the West Bank we see two laws: Israeli civilian law, which only applies to those with Israeli citizenship; and Israeli military law, which applies to the Palestinian population.
“Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in Israeli military detention facilities, which are notoriously bad in their treatment of children.”