At least 65 Palestinian children had been subjected to house arrest by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in 2015, resulting in serious psychological torment, a prisoners’ rights group reported.
Spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies, Riyad al-Ashqar, said in a statement that the IOF detained more than 1,900 Palestinians from Occupied Jerusalem in 2015, one-third of whom were minors. 65 of those detained minors were put under house arrest.
Al-Ashqar slammed Israel’s use of house arrest against Palestinians aged below 14 as an attempt to skirt Israeli law regarding imprisonment of minors that in effect “turns the child’s house itself into a prison and the family members into wardens against their will.”
He further spoke out against the psychological turmoil inflicted by such an Israeli policy, saying: “The child sees his friends playing and having fun outside and cannot join them. Faced with such a prohibition, the child becomes nervous and shouts at his/her parents—‘his/her wardens.’ ”
“This also affects the psycho-social structure of the family and creates a sort of barrier between the child and his/her parents,” al-Ashqar maintained.
He added that parents are often caught in such an agonizing situation where they are forced to ban their children from going to school in order not to be re-captured or tortured by the occupation troops, which affects the child’s academic career and intellectual potentials.
According to al-Ashqar, there are two types of house confinement imposed by the IOF on Palestinian children; the first is to have the child locked up at his/her own family home all day long; the second is to have the child incarcerated at a relative’s home located far away from his/her native neighborhood, imposing on the child faces and places that he/she can hardly, if ever, put up with due to their striking unfamiliarity.
Conditions in the Israeli occupation jails have often failed to meet international and humanitarian standards, with children detainees reportedly denied family visitation and forced into solitary lock-down.