The report, the findings of which have been described as "shocking" and "damning," describes how children as young as 12 years are prosecuted in military courts after being arrested by soldiers in terrifying night-time raids. The report refers to evidence collected by Israeli and Palestinian lawyers, as well as UN agencies, which describes an abusive system in which children are threatened and physically coerced into signing confessions, some of which are written in Hebrew, a language they do not understand. Following their conviction in a military court, most of the children are shipped off to prisons in Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits their transfer out of the West Bank. Further, the report found that the military's treatment of Palestinian children also violates the Convention on the Rights of the Child in a number of key respects.
As shocking as these findings may be, reports of abuse within Israel's military detention system are not new. In April 2012, Defence for Children International (DCI) released a report following a review of over 300 sworn testimonies collected from children imprisoned over the past four years. The report -- Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted -- found that children were tied, often painfully so and for lengthy periods, in 95 percent of cases; blindfolded in 90 percent of cases; subjected to physical violence in 75 percent of cases; transferred on the floor of military vehicles in 32 percent of cases; and imprisoned inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, in 63 percent of cases. The report concluded that there was a systematic pattern of ill-treatment of children within the system.
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