In Israeli military courts, Palestinian minors always lose

March 21, 2018
Arthur Goodman
In Israeli civilian courts, detention is always a last resort for a minor. But when it comes to Palestinian minors in Israeli military courts, prison is almost guaranteed.

Ahed Tamimi in court

Yael Marom, in +972, writes “Israeli authorities have dedicated significant effort in recent years to highlighting the improvements allegedly made in the treatment of Palestinian minors within Israeli military courts in the West Bank.”

Among the ostensible achievements are the establishment a juvenile court in the military court system, allowing for the increased involvement of parents in the military justice system, decreasing the length of time a child can be detained before being brought before a judge, and even an abandoned experiment of issuing summonses to Palestinian minors instead of sending an invading force of soldiers to arrest them in their homes in the middle of the night — the common practice today.”

A report published by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem on Tuesday argues that these so-called improvements have improved very little. The juvenile military court system system, which uses the tactic of denying bail to pressure over 70 percent of juvenile defendants and their families into accepting plea bargains, has a startling conviction rate that exceeds 95 percent.” (read more)

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