The children who were interrogated and severely tortured explained the following experience: A group of 5-6 interrogators from the Israeli forces attacked the detained child while he was handcuffed and blindfolded. They severely assaulted him and threw him on the ground, causing him sensory deprivation since his hands had been cuffed behind his back and his eyes had been blindfolded for quite some time.
The roles of the interrogators were distributed as follows:
• One to hit the child on his face and the stomach while he is on the ground.
• Another to spread the child’s legs while he’s handcuffed and places a chair in between the child’s legs and sits on it.
• A third one rubs and presses firmly on the child’s testicles to obtain a confession.
• The fourth pours water on the child’s nose while he’s blindfolded and places his head in a filthy gunny bag that smells bad.
• The fifth has a stop watch to measure the child’s time of bearing the torture and gives him instructions on confessing in order to stop the torture.
These torturing methods have several psychological effects on the child such as:
• Frequent movement, instability and aggressiveness towards himself (wounding himself and pulling his hair) and towards others (hitting, insulting and creating problems with his brothers and others) and towards animals (hitting, burning and pulling) and towards property (damaging toys and tearing clothes) besides having oblique and mischievous behavior such as theft, lying, smoking and addiction, and becoming more like to take risks without thinking about the results and consequences.
• Withdrawal and lack of participation, negativity, does not interact with others, his movement decreases, he does not care about himself or anyone around him. The child becomes dependent and obedient and loses the interest in playing.
• The child develops increased fear and the experiences the emergence of new fears such as fear of going to the bathroom or going to sleep or being left alone, fear of strangers and the night and the dark, fear of monsters and ogres and insects.
Amer Hlehel (The Artist in the photo):
I am not surprised at all when Palestinian children are detained by Israelis and are verbally and physically abused. I am also not surprised when children are tortured and detained in solitary confinement and when they are subjected to administrative arrests without a clear charge and without being brought to court and without being allowed to meet their lawyer. This is the “Israel” that we know. We have never seen compassion and love from Israel, all we see is occupation, violence and intimidation. We see nothing else but this.
But I am astonished when the world mobilizes for the plight of the polar bear in the Arctic (and I am not against saving the bear), speaking of outstanding humanity and worrying about the image of the modern civilization, with the interests of world peace in mind.
But this same world does not lift a finger to save one of the 200 children detained by Israel. Is it in the literature of this world that the Palestinian child is not worth even hypocrite solidarity?
Isn’t assaulting a Palestinian child enough to stir a sense of human responsibility? Doesn’t torturing a Palestinian child worry the proponents of world peace?
There are 200 children detained in the Israeli prisons under the auspices and the partnership of the democratic civilized world that wrote the declaration of human rights. It seems like Palestinians are not on their “humans” list.
Every punch launched by an Israeli interrogator towards a Palestinian child is a punch in the face of the hypocrite world.
The basic law concerning Human Dignity and Freedom places human rights and the protection of physical integrity among those constitutional rights that may not be infringed.
In other words, the law may authorize the use of force only in order to avert or prevent a threat to security personnel while performing their duties, and in such cases, the use of force must be disciplined and compatible with the imminent danger.
In all cases, Israeli Law prohibits the use of physical violence as a method of interrogating suspects.
As in all cases, there is a large gap between the text and the spirit of the law, on one hand, and the practices of the Israeli representatives enforcing law on the ground, on the other. We witness certain practices that directly contradict the principles of the law used against detained Palestinian children on a daily basis.
Most Palestinian children are exposed to psychological and physical violence during the arrest, especially in the initial stages of the detention and before they are officially interrogated. In many cases, we have monitored a clear violation to the rights of the Palestinian children by the interrogators who use methods of beatings and psychological intimidation against the children in order to obtain confessions.
The biggest problem lies in the judicial system which ignores these violations and responds merely by transferring the complaints to the Department of Investigation of police personnel, which looks into the complaints only after the child’s interrogation is over and the complaint no longer has the capacity to have a direct effect of preventing the violation of the rights of the detained child and the resulting confessions.