Shadow foreign secretary urges UK not to turn a blind eye to the violations being committed by Israeli forces
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 09 February 2018| 22 Jumadul Ula 1439
Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has written to UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to urge pressure on Israel over the military detention of Palestinian children.
In a letter that the Labour front bencher also shared on Twitter, Emily Thornberry said she was following up on concerns raised in a debate held in Westminster Hall yesterday.
Citing a UNICEF report from 2013, which said that Palestinian children in Israeli military detention were subjected to “widespread, systematic and institutionalised” ill-treatment, Thornberry added that “young Palestinians remain subject to inhumane and often violent law enforcement”.
The letter cited figures from Defence for Children International, which says that around 500-700 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank are prosecuted every year through Israeli juvenile military courts, a unique phenomenon globally.
Thornberry also cited the case of “renowned Palestinian youth activist, Ahed Tamimi”, though added that “grave injustices faced by many more Palestinian young people…often go unnoticed”.
The Shadow Foreign Secretary also recounted a meeting she had with a Palestinian girl aged 14, during a recent trip to the region.
The girl had been “forced to witness her brother being removed by the IDF in the middle of the night”, and then, “after writing about this on Facebook, was also detained for four days herself”.
“When her brother was told about this, it would seem he immediately signed a confession to obtain his younger sister’s release, and had remained in prison ever since,” Thornberry wrote.
“She was left feeling both traumatised by her experience and guilty at the outcome, and when I met her and the issue was discussed, she had been reduced to a constant state of weeping distress.”
Thornberry finished by stressing that “the UK must not turn a blind eye” to the violations of “international norms” being committed by Israeli forces, and urged Johnson to “renew our calls for an end to the occupation so that young Palestinians are no longer subject to military law”.
Source – MEMO