Last week, the American Friends Services Committee, in conjunction with a coalition of other groups, hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill on the situation for Palestinian children under the Israeli military occupation — particularly those detained by the military As UNICEF has reported, “the ill-treatment of Palestinian children who come in contact with the military detention system is widespread, systematic, and institutionalized from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.”
As a follow-up to this briefing, Rep. Betty McCollum has initiated a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry summarizing the issue and urging the State Department to take specific action:
Secretary Kerry, we urge the Department of State to elevate the human rights of Palestinian children to a priority status in our bilateral relationship with the Government of Israel. Furthermore, we fully expect the State Department to address the status of Israel’s military detention system’s treatment of Palestinian children in its annual human rights report.
Call your Representative NOW at (202) 224-3121 and say
I urge Rep. _____ to sign Rep. McCollum’s letter to Secretary John Kerry urging the State Department to make the human rights of Palestinian children a priority in our relationship with Israel.
Here are a few talking points should you need them:
- At a briefing sponsored by the American Friends Services Committee last Tuesday, representatives from Defense for Children International — Palestine, Human Rights Watch, and American teenager Tariq Abu Khdeir, who was severely beaten by Israeli police last summer in Jerusalem, spoke about the dire situation of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation.
- Palestinians in territories controlled by Israel — including children — are subject to Israeli military law, while Israeli settlers are subject to Israeli civil law.
- UNICEF has reported that “the ill-treatment of Palestinian children who come in contact with the military detention system is widespread, systematic, and institutionalized.”
- Israel receives over $3 billion a year in US taxpayer funds, which makes us particularly responsible for any human rights abuses that happen under the military occupation.
When you’re done, report your call below.