Human Rights Watch Monday accused Israel of “abusive arrests” of Palestinian children as young as 11 and of using threats to force them to sign confessions.
“Israeli authorities failed to inform parents of their children’s arrest or whereabouts,” the New York-based watchdog added, drawing on accounts of several children detained during intense unrest in occupied east of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the West Bank late last year.
HRW’s Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson urged the United States to pressure its Israeli ally to end what it said were long-standing “abusive practices.”
The rights group issued the accusations as US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter began a visit to the state of Israel.
“Israeli security forces have used unnecessary force to arrest or detain Palestinian children,” it said in a report giving details of the “abusive arrests” of six children.
“Forces have choked children, thrown stun grenades at them, beaten them in custody, threatened and interrogated them without the presence of parents or lawyers, and failed to let their parents know their whereabouts.”
The Israeli Defense Forces, when contacted by AFP, had no immediate comment on the report.
HRW said the military and justice ministry responded to its accusations and maintained that “security officials had adhered to the law in all cases, including by informing the children of their rights.”