Palestinian Children Need Protection

The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy strongly condemns the arrest of eight-year-old Omran Mansour on October 12 from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on charges of stone throwing. Mansour, who was identified on the videotape of settler leader David Be'eri running over two Palestinian children earlier this week, was taken forcefully from his home by Israeli soldiers late at night without the accompaniment of his parents.

The arrest of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities is commonplace in the occupied territories but has recently reached exceptional heights. The two children who were run over by Be'eri in the stone throwing incident were ages 10 and 11. On October 12, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch declared that "children cannot receive immunity" in cases of stone throwing. Last month, 12-year old Karam Da'an from Hebron was arrested, detained and exiled from his home for five months including being barred from attending school.

MIFTAH calls on Israel to abide by international charters and agreements protecting the rights of the child, which demand that the occupying power safeguard the rights of children living under its rule. Israel systematically arrests, tortures and tries Palestinians as adults including children as young as 12 tried in Israeli military courts.

MIFTAH also calls on the international community and those concerned with Israel's violations of Palestinian human rights to demand that Israel be held accountable for its actions. All children, regardless to their nationality, sex or religion should be treated equally, with dignity and appropriately to their status as minors.