Peace Not Walls - May

 

Help ensure the rights of Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation

Peace Not Walls 2

On April 30, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn.) introduced H.R. 2407, the “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” which would prohibit U.S. taxpayer funding for the military detention of children by any country, including Israel. H.R. 2407 is similar to a bill McCollum introduced in November 2017 (H.R. 4391, the “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act”), with some updates and changes. Significantly, the new bill prohibits U.S. military aid from being used by foreign armed forces to support the military detention, interrogation, abuse or ill-treatment of children in violation of international humanitarian law.

Between 500 and 700 Palestinian children are detained and prosecuted in Israeli military courts each year. Since 2000, more than 10,000 children have been subjected to the Israeli military court system, which does not guarantee their rights of due process. Their treatment highlights the two-tiered system of justice in the occupied Palestinian territory—Israeli civil courts for Israeli settlers, and Israeli military courts for Palestinians.

H.R. 2407 notes that child detention by the Israeli military courts violates international laws and standards of human rights, is contrary to American values, and undermines efforts to promote a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The bill seeks to prohibit funding for the military detention of children in any country, including Israel; to authorize $19 million for nongovernmental organization (NGO) monitoring of human rights abuses associated with Israel’s military detention of children; and to provide physical, psychological, and emotional treatment and support for Palestinian child victims of Israeli military detention, abuse and torture. Specific information about the bill is available at the No Way to Treat a Child campaign website.

Please contact your representatives in Washington, urging them to protect the rights of Palestinian children and to uphold existing U.S. law that prohibits using military aid to violate international humanitarian law. (If your representative is already a sponsor, please thank her/him.)

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