Israeli occupation forces arrested a 13-year-old Palestinian child from Aqabat Jaber refugee camp on Sunday, while he was riding his bicycle near the DCO checkpoint, south of Jericho.
According to eyewitnesses, the occupation soldiers stopped the child, identified as Amin Al-Sajdi, and took him to an unknown destination. His family was not informed of the reason for his arrest or his whereabouts.
Aqabat Jaber camp is located near the entrance to Ramallah. It is the largest camp in the West Bank by surface area and shelters about 30,000 refugees. The camp residents suffer from water scarcity, poor shelter conditions and frequent harassment and attacks by Israeli settlers and occupation forces.
The Jericho DCO checkpoint is one of the main checkpoints that control the movement of Palestinians between Ramallah and Jericho. It is one of the many checkpoints that restrict the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank. Until recently, only a few Palestinians with special permits were allowed to cross the checkpoint.
The checkpoint remains a site of tension between Palestinians and Israelis. In July 2023, some Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian farmers near the checkpoint and contaminated their drinking water.
The arrest of Al-Sajdi is part of a systematic policy of targeting Palestinian children by the Israeli occupation forces. According to Defense for Children International – Palestine, The Israeli occupation detains and prosecutes around 500 to 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year. Palestinian children are often subjected to physical and psychological abuse, denied access to lawyers and family members, and coerced into signing confessions in Hebrew.
According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel has ratified, children should only be deprived of their liberty as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. Moreover, they should be treated with respect and dignity, and have access to legal assistance and family contact.