SILWAN, East Jerusalem — Most are ripped from their beds in the middle of the night. Others are taken while playing in the street, or leaving school. Many are blindfolded and shackled on their way to interrogation, which lasts for several hours at a time, all without a lawyer or family member present. Many are beaten, verbally abused, and pressured to sign confessions for crimes they didn’t commit.
The experience of Israeli arrest, interrogation and detention causes severe psychological damage, and leaves lasting scars on Palestinian detainees, their families and communities. It is especially traumatic, however, for the over 7,500 Palestinian children under the age of 18 that have been arrested by the Israeli authorities since 2000.