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Nearly 200 Palestinian children in Israeli jails

April 1, 2015 9:08 P.M. (Updated: April 24, 2015 1:12 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- 182 Palestinian children were being held in Israeli prisons at the end of February, with more than half being held in jails outside of the occupied Palestinian territories and thus stranded from families and relatives.

Military Court Watch, a Palestinian legal monitor focused on the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli detention, said in a statement that the numbers showed a substantial increase over January's figures.

Of the 182 Palestinian children being held, 25 were between the ages of 14-15 while 157 of them were between 16-17.

Two of the minors being held were girls while the rest were boys, the group said.

93 of those detained were being held inside Israel even though they were arrested in Palestinian territory. The practice is considered a violation of international law, which forbids the transfer of detained persons from occupied territories.

The nearly 200 minors being detained make up a small but significant part of the total of 5,609 Palestinians from East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank who were being held as so-called "security prisoners" at the end of February, the group said.

In addition to security prisoners, there were about 1,970 Palestinian being held as "criminal prisoners," including about 25 children.

Statistics released by Israeli military courts in the West Bank in 2011 show that 99.74 percent of Palestinians brought before them are convicted of their crimes.

Courts also approve 98.77 percent of all requests to extend the detention of Palestinian prisoners being held without charge or trial.

Activists charge that the statistics show how Palestinians in Israeli courts are perpetually doomed to an unfair trial and lengthy prison sentences, regardless off the evidence of their involvement in any actual crimes.
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