Friday, June 21, 2013

UN agency accuses Israel of torturing Palestinian children

Media reports today that 18 independent experts investigating a 10-year period (2002-2012) for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child accuse Israel of routinely abusing Palestinian children, including torturing those in police custody & using some as human shields. Most of the estimated 7,000 Palestinian children arrested, interrogated, & incarcerated were charged with throwing rocks which can get a child up to 20 years in jail.

According to the report, many children in custody are brought before military courts in leg shackles; others are held in solitary confinement for months. It also reported that between January 2010 & March 2013 alone there were 14 cases of Israeli soldiers using Palestinian children as human shields to enter potentially dangerous buildings or stand in front of military vehicles to deter rock throwing. Soldiers convicted of forcing a 9-year-old child at gunpoint to search bags suspected of containing explosives received a suspended sentence of 3 months & were demoted.

The report also calls attention to the hundreds of children killed & thousands injured by Israel’s periodic murderous bombing assaults on Gaza as well as the violence of Israeli land confiscations, unlawful settlements on Palestinian lands, construction of the barrier wall, & destruction of Palestinian homes & livelihoods which “constitute severe & continuous violations of the rights of Palestinian children & their families.”

The UN agency may be just catching up to what Palestinians have been alleging & photojournalism has been documenting for nearly 65 years but it has handed the Palestinian solidarity movement a mighty weapon against the violence of the Zionist monstrosity called Israel. Nothing could more powerfully damn the Zionist project than the torture of children.

Zionists of all persuasions & their supporters need to ask themselves if this is the kind of thing they want to be identified with, if there is anything salvageable in such a state, if it’s possible to save some aspects of Zionism & trash the worst aspects. In fact, this utter debasement is the political logic of Zionism & the entire edifice on which the state was built. Support Palestinian solidarity by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729)!

This iconic photo of a Palestinian child in the hands of Israeli soldiers is only one of hundreds showing the violence toward them.

(Photographer not identified)

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