Detention Graphic

Israeli Military Detention - No Way to Treat a Child

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Follow the graphics and text below to see a step-by-step description of how Palestinian children are ill treated by Israeli soldiers, including arrest, detention, forced confessions, and appearance in military courts.






Children arrested by Israeli Military
The following account of treatment of Palestinian children is based on a UNICEF report, which drew its evidence from a database of more than 400 cases of child detention and ill treatment.

1) ARREST.  Palestinian children first encounter the military detention system when they are arrested.  It often happens at home, in the middle of the night.  Soldiers force the child to come with them.  Often neither the child nor the parents know where he is going or when he will return.

Arrested children are transfered to interrogation Palestinian children are interrogated by Israeli soldiers

2) TRANSFER. Arrested children are blindfolded and taken to an interrogation center, a journey that can take from an hour to a whole day.  In some cases, they endure verbal or physical abuse and have no food, water, or access to toilets.

3) INTERROGATION. Children have no lawyers or family members present during interrogation.  In order to force them to confess, children are subject to physical violence and threatened with death and sexual assault.  Not surprisingly, most children confess.  Some are put in solitary confinement until their court hearing.

Palestinian children are shackled and brought befor a military court. Palestinian children are sentence by an Israeli military court.

4) HEARING. Children shuffle into a military courtroom wearing prison uniforms and shackled with iron leg chains.  Usually the main evidence against a child is a confession made under duress.  Bail is usually denied.  The military judge can extend a child’s pretrial detention up to 188 days.

5) SENTENCE. With so much stacked against them, almost all children plead guilty in hopes of reducing the length of their pre-trial detention.  Imprisoned children are allowed one 45-minute visit from family members every two weeks.  However, those who go to prison are often sent to prisons inside Israel, making it difficult to impossible for Palestinian families to travel to Israel to visit an incarcerated child.


Children suffer emotionally and physically from the military detention system.  They are torn from their families and communities and subjected to harsh treatment with no one to defend them.