Israel arrested 100s of Palestinian boys from their beds at night during last two years

Nov 25,2020

All of these detentions, without exception, were carried out between 11 pm and 5 am.

Every year, the Israeli military arrests hundreds of Palestinian boys from their beds in the middle of the night, take them to interrogation hand-cuffed and blindfolded and traumatizes their families, Israeli rights group HaMoked said on Wednesday.

In a report, MaMoked stated that night arrests are in violation of Israeli military regulations and commitments to issue a summons for interrogation prior to any arrest, it said.

The report is based on 81 affidavits HaMoked took from boys aged 14-17 who were arrested in 2018-2019. It said 72 per cent were detained at home between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am.

The affidavits show that the night arrests entail an extensive violation of rights and often include physical violence, said HaMoked.

The boys are often forcibly taken from their beds, in front of shocked younger siblings.

The soldiers do not tell them the reason for the detention, nor inform their parents where their sons are being taken or how they can communicate with them.

Eleven of the boys described how they were taken without being fully clothed or wearing just thin pajamas, some of them even without shoes.

About half of the boys experienced physical violence, humiliation and threats during the detention or on the way to interrogation. The journey to the interrogation center can take many hours and include multiple stops.

Virtually all of the boys were kept blindfolded and handcuffed for this entire time, in violation of the regulations and beyond any reasonable need. Many were denied food or drink, and the use of a bathroom, and were exposed to extremes of temperature.

Military regulations require the issuance of a summons to report for interrogation before a minor is detained. Only if a summons is not possible or effective, can an arrest be carried out.

In correspondence on this matter with HaMoked, in 2014 the military announced a pilot program to examine the alternative of summoning minors to interrogation. However, according to the report, the pilot was barely implemented.

This week, HaMoked received data proving that night arrests are the first recourse for bringing Palestinian teenagers to interrogation. In response to a Freedom of Information request, the military stated that in 2019 it detained 235 Palestinian minors in preplanned arrest operations.

All of these detentions, without exception, were carried out between 11 pm and 5 am.

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