Thursday, August 27, 2009

Israel establishes special courts for Palestinian child detainees

Tuesday August 25, 2009 03:20 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The Israeli occupation Authorities announced the formation of special courts for Palestinian children detained by the Israeli Army in the occupied Palestinian Territories.
The decision is the first since Israel occupied the Palestinian territories 42 years ago.
Israeli sources reported that Brigadier general Gadi Shamni, GOC Central Command of the Israeli Army, had signed decision number 1644 ordering the establishment of a Military Court for the Youth. The court will be in charge of all cases against underage detainees.
According to the decision, judges who received special training in dealing with young detainees will be appointed by the head of the Israeli Court system.
Israel always interrogated and tried Palestinian children in ordinary interrogation facilities, and ordinary courts.
Imprisoned children are also held with adult detainees and even with Israeli prisoners who committed criminal offences.
Israel courts never gave special consideration for underage Palestinian political prisoners, and disregarded the fact that the vast majority of the “confessions” were extracted under torture and abuse.
Lawyer Khaled Quzmar, head of the Legal Unit at the Defense For Children International (DCI) – Palestine branch, said that the new military court is a late Israel confession of the failure of their legal system that prosecuted the children as adults.
Quzmar added that he does not expect fundamental changes that would end the bad treatment of the child detainees, and that the new court will most likely allow wide intervention from the Israeli Prosecution.