Israeli courts issued nearly 250 house arrest orders against Palestinian children since start of Jerusalem Intifada in October 2015, Palestinian officials said.
The head of research in PLO’s Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Abdul-Nasser Ferwanah said that these orders are considered an alternative to prison time and aim to restrict children’s freedom. Such orders have increased considerably during the Jerusalem Intifada.
In a press release, he stressed that the Israeli authorities increased their oppressive measures, unfair sentences, imposition of high fines, brutal treatment, blatant violations and discriminatory laws against Palestinian children since the outbreak of the intifada.
He stressed that this is part of the “illegal” Israel attempts to systematically target and afflict suffering on Palestinian children.
Farawneh added that “house arrest” means children must remain in their homes for a certain amount of time, while a member of the family supervise their confinement.
This turns homes into prisons and makes the parents jailers monitoring their children. This forces them to prevent their children from leaving their home, even for treatment or study in adherence to the orders of the Israeli court. In addition to this, heavy fines are imposed on the family.
He explains that there are two types of house arrest. The first type forces the individual, including children, men and women to remain in their homes. They cannot leave their homes at all during the time of the imprisonment.
The second type, which is considered worse than the first, is the imposition of house arrest on children by placing them in a relative’s house, far from the family home and their neighbourhood.
According to Farwanah, this fragments the family, worries them and causes tension in the relationship between the child and their parents. It also leads to psychological and social issues for the child and their family.
Farawneh said the house arrest is an arbitrary and immoral measure that violates international humanitarian and human rights laws. It is considered collective punishment for the entire family.