House Arrest
"I would rather be in jail than in house arrest so I won’t look out of the window and see my friends playing while I cannot."A 14-year-old child, after 10 months of house arrest. A 14-year-old child, after 10 months of house arrest.

After leaving prison, 48% of the children were released into house arrest. In 23% of the cases the children were in an open house arrest. Open house arrests means: not knowing when they can engage again in work or school related activities and leave their homes.

A boy is indefinitely under house arrest, and is not allowed to go to school. Read the story of Suhaib Alawar.

A guardian is normally selected by the court from one of the family members under whose singed responsibility the child is released. This guardian is made responsible to keep an eye on the child in all hours. This effectively places another family member in house arrest too—the child and the court appointed caretaker.

To put this in perspective, 70% of children were in house arrest for a month or slightly less. Moreover, a high percentage of them were not permitted to attend school. This fact resulted in children performing poorly in school after they finally were allowed to return (40%), some being asked to repeat a grade by their teachers, which families at times could not afford as a consequence the children dropped out of school (3%).

B’tselem collects testimonies of night arrests and consequent house arrests of boys 12-15. Read the report here.

The matter of house arrest and its consequences is an extremely complex one and has not yet been analyzed in depth thus far. However one can say that the system works quite well for the Israeli State and Prison Services.

Children and their families are punished not only by being arrested, paying bail out and lawyer fees, but family members are also made responsible for watching their children 24hrs, which puts a lot of economic and psychological pressure on these families and the social fabric as whole. The goal, we can assume, is to frustrate, terrorize and bankrupt the families. In case of a conviction, the time spent in house arrest by the minor is normally not taken into consideration when airing the final prison sentence.

About this photograph

Ali Maswade, 15 years old from Dandara Silwan (children rap group appearing in this photograph):

I wanted to be part of Room No. 4 campaign because I am from Silwan and I live among settlers and under occupation and I see the injustice that happens to us, arrests everyday, so I wanted to deliver the message to the world and to tell them that we are also human beings and it is not necessary to have arrests everyday, and I hope that our message through the photograph will tell you the story of our life and the arrests that keep happening to us.

Thank god I myself was never arrested but I have friends and family members who were arrested. My dad was in prison and I know how hard it is, it makes us hate the situation we are in because of the unnecessary investigations that happen with us… I hope I spoke what is in my heart.