July 2012 – Overview
This month saw a 5 percent decrease in the number of children prosecuted in the Israeli military courts and imprisoned. However, there has been a 56 percent increase in the number of children held in military detention since December 2011. This month also saw a 3 percent decrease in the number of young children (12-15 year) being detained.
On 20 July, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Professor Richard Falk, issued a statement condemning Israel's use of solitary confinement against Palestinian children following the issuing of an Urgent Appeal by DCI on the issue. “This pattern of abuse by Israel is grave,” the Special Rapporteur stressed. “It is inhumane, cruel, degrading and unlawful, and, most worryingly, it is likely to adversely affect the mental and physical health of underage detainees.” Since 2008, DCI has documented 53 cases in which children report being held in isolation.
In a letter dated 20 July, the UK Foreign Office confirmed that the detention of Palestinian children inside Israel violates Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Serious questions remain as to the involvement of a UK company, G4S, in Israeli detention facilities.