Remember Ahed Tamimi? The brave teen girl from the village of Nabi Salih who became a symbol of Palestinian resistance? Year after she was released from jail for confronting Israeli soldier, now her brother has been jailed.
The brave Tamimi rose her voice against oppressive Israeli soldiers in her recent piece for an international media agency, INDEPENDENT. In her article titled ‘‘After my imprisonment, my little brother has been jailed in Israel. Who will speak up for Palestinian kids like us?” – Ahed writes about the plight of Palestinian kids who are being deprived of their childhood and put behind the bars for resisting the oppressive regime. The recent victim is her own 15 years old brother Mohammed.
Child prisoners of Palestine are being subjected to the horrors of military detention. Ahed herself spent 8 months behind the bars, however, rising her to global fame as she was celebrated as a women hero across the world. Amidst the terror and panic, detention of children is the disturbing price that they have to pay for resisting the oppression. Trepidation crawling across every inch of the body, every parent fears that their child might be next.
Palestinians residing in the West Bank are under military law – the tool used to repress resistance against Israeli occupation. The residents say that their rights are being suppressed compared to the Israeli settlers, who are living in their neighbourhood on their ‘stolen land’. However, they are protected by the Israeli legal system, hence the Palestinians are powerless.
”Across the West Bank exists a framework of dual legal systems: Jewish settlers are afforded rights under Israeli civilian law, while we Palestinians have ours taken away by military law – two very different processes and outcomes implemented on grounds of ethnicity. Experts say this meets the definition of apartheid, and children are not immune from this suffering.” – she wrote in her piece.
With Ahed’s brother, there are about 200 children in Israeli prison currently. Some of them are as young as 12 years old. Every year, Israel arrests and prosecutes 700 children, majority of them for throwing stones on the armed forces. After being separated from their families, they are exposed to the worst physical and mental abuse with long-lasting impacts. They are then interrogated by Israelis in a language they do not understand. Very few of them are given access to legal representation or allowed a family member to be present during the interrogation process.
” In 2013, UNICEF published a report into the widespread, systematic and institutionalised ill-treatment of children in the military detention system. Of the 38 requirements they set out to protect Palestinian children, Israel has implemented only one. According to the charity Defence for Children International Palestine, three out of four experience physical violence, and nearly half suffer the traumatic experience of being ripped from their families in the middle of the night by armed soldiers.” – Ahed writes.
Concluding her piece, she requested the world to listen to the plight of Palestinian children and raise voice with them, to bring back their childhood.
Read Ahed Tamimi’s piece for INDEPENDENT here.
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