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PA expands role in freeing minors detained by Israel
Published Saturday 11/01/2014 (updated) 11/01/2014 22:00
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(MaanImages/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- One of the major obstacles to ongoing peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is the continuation of Israeli forces' detentions raids across the West Bank.

These rarely remarked-upon raids are carried out day and night in Palestinian areas and often involve the detention of children.

Israel has said that it will not halt detention raids even if a peace agreement is signed, a stipulation that is unacceptable to the Palestinian Authority.

In light of Israeli authorities' insistence on carrying out these raids, the Palestinian Authority's military liaison department has started working over the last two years to mitigate their effects.

"This role has been neglected (in the past). ... I contacted the Israeli military liaison department and proposed (applying) the UNICEF definition of children's rights, highlighting that Palestinian children are being terrified and denied their rights when they are detained for various charges," said the director of the PA's military liaison department Jihad al-Jayousi.

He told Ma'an that his Israeli counterparts reacted positively to his remarks.

"In April 2012, we agreed that when any Palestinian child is detained, the Palestinian liaison department could intervene and release him even before he is sent to the Israeli police."

According to Defense for Children International, between 500-700 Palestinian children are detained by Israeli forces in the West Bank every year and prosecuted in Israeli military courts.

Al-Jayousi confirmed that his department managed to free 90 percent of Palestinian minors whose cases were brought forward by either family members, governorate offices, or other means.

"Last year we managed to free 349 minors," he added.

Asked about the methods, al-Jayousi said his department's offices across the West Bank usually call their Israeli counterparts to ask about minors who have been detained. At this point, the Israeli department contacts the Israeli force that has detained the minors, "and we go and receive."

The process, he said, could take as little as 15 minutes or as much as a few hours.

Al-Jayousi highlighted that when district offices fail to free minors in some cases, he "personally intervenes to secure the release."

There is also a police liaison department, he added, which is a division of the military liaison department. Palestinian and Israeli police liaise on criminal issues such as robberies, drug-related issues, and murder.

"For example, some Palestinian fugitives who escaped to Israel after they were accused of murder and drugs have been handed to us by Israeli police, including the suspects believed to be behind the death of the governor of Qalqiliya, Qaddura Mousa."


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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
11/01/2014 18:29
Time to put Palestinian leader on trial at the ICC for war crimes - including using children as soldiers in an armed conflict. The PA trains and sends children to attack and kill Israeli civilians with rocks and firebombs - in the worst cases Fatah Hamas and IJ have used minors as suicide bombers in a severe violation of international law. The silver lining in the cloud is the clear cooperation between the PA and Israel mentioned in this article.

2 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
11/01/2014 21:13
What war crime Brain? Now PA have to stop arresting Palestinians and working with the zionists. The man is a zionist traitor.

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/01/2014 03:09
To Brian Cohen #1: 'Time to put Palestinian leader on trial at the ICC for war crimes...' Gag me, Brain: everything you say is a perversion of the truth.
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