Middle East Monitor / December 21, 2020
Israeli occupation courts imposed fines worth 350,000 shekels ($102,000) on Palestinian minors during 2020, Director of the Palestine Centre for Prisoners Studies Riyadh Al-Ashqar said yesterday.
According to Safa news agency, most of the Palestinian minors arrested appeared in Ofer military court and were ordered to pay high fines, Al-Ashqar said, adding to the financial burdens experienced by families.
Al-Ashqar said that the Israeli courts impose fines on Palestinian children for all alleged aggressions including stone throwing or being spotted near an Israeli settlement or military checkpoint.
He called for the regional and international rights groups to help end Israel’s detention of Palestinian minors and stop the system of “blackmailing” their families by forcing them to pay high fines for the release of their children.
Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair rights and guarantees.
The systematic ill treatment and torture of Palestinian children has been widely documented in recent years, with Amnesty International finding that Israeli forces had “tortured and otherwise ill-treated Palestinian detainees, including children, particularly during arrest and interrogation”, with methods including “beating with batons, slapping, throttling, prolonged shackling, stress positions, sleep deprivation and threats.”