The Palestinian Center Prisoners Studies PCPS has confirmed that hundreds of Palestinian school students of various age groups have been prevented from joining the new academic year, which began a week ago in the West Bank and Jerusalem, due to arbitrary measures imposed by the occupation, including arrests and home confinement.
The Center further explained that the occupation is currently detaining 170 Palestinian child prisoners, all of whom are school students at different levels, including elementary, middle, and high school.
The students were supposed to be in school at the start of the new academic year. However, they will be unable to attend classes like their peers due to being held by the occupation for varying periods, enduring unfavorable conditions, and some serving lengthy prison sentences.
Researcher Riyad Al-Ashqar, the Center’s director, pointed out that home confinement is not the only reason dozens of school students are unable to start the new academic year, especially in Jerusalem.
Besides arrests and detentions, there’s a policy known as home confinement. As a result, around 90 students are prevented from attending school as they are forcibly confined to their homes by the occupation’s orders.
Al-Ashqar explained that home confinement involves keeping a child within their home immediately after their release from a short period of arrest. Parents are required to sign a commitment that their child will not leave the house during the confinement period.
The policy prevents the children from going to school, visiting relatives, or playing with peers near their homes. The secure home environment transforms into a prison, with different guards.
his policy also carries social and psychological consequences, as parents become the enforcers of confinement, out of fear for their children’s safety from the threats of the occupation.
This continuous state of frustration, tension, and hostility on the child’s part threatens family stability, especially if the home confinement persists.
Al-Ashqar revealed that the punishment of home confinement disproportionately targets children from Jerusalem. In just the current year, the occupation authorities issued over 255 home confinement orders for various periods against Jerusalemites, most of them minors. Some have already completed their confinement, while dozens are still under home confinement until now.
Al-Ashqar accused the occupation of deliberately undermining the future of Palestinian children through prolonged arrests, torture, maltreatment during interrogations, and harsh conditions in prisons.
Vindictive sentences are imposed on them, or they are confined within their homes that have turned into prisons. He cited the case of the Jerusalemite child Ahmad Manasrah, who suffered severe psychological trauma due to torture, harsh detention conditions, and solitary confinement.
Al-Ashqar urged the international community, which has ratified agreements for children’s rights, to intervene genuinely and effectively. He called for compelling the occupation to cease targeting Palestinian children with arrests, maltreatment, and home confinement. He also urged providing them with the proper atmosphere for education and safe living, in accordance with international humanitarian treaties and agreements.
Translated from: The Palestinian Center for Prisoners Studies