Israel illegally holding 2 Palestinian children: NGO

Israel illegally holding 2 Palestinian children: NGO

Israel's policy of 'illegal detention' allows authorities to hold suspects - including minors - without trial or charge

By Qais Abu Samra

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) - The Israel authorities are holding two Palestinian children without trial or charge in violation of international law, an NGO said Thursday.

The Palestine branch of Defense for Children International (DCI), a Geneva-based NGO, identified the two incarcerated minors as Laith Kharma and Hossam Farraj.

“The Israeli authorities recently extended Laith’s detention -- for the second time -- by another four months,” DCI said in a Thursday press statement.

The NGO went on to quote Kharma as saying that he had been slapped in the face during his arrest after having been handcuffed and blindfolded.

Kharma, 17, was detained last September in the village of Kafr Nema near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Farraj was detained last November in the town of Al-Walaja near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Since late 2015, the Israeli authorities have held 25 minors without trial or charge, only three of whom have since been released, according to DCI.

According to official Palestinian figures, some 6,400 Palestinians continue to languish in Israeli prisons, including dozens of women and scores of minors.

Of these, roughly 450 have been placed in "administrative detention", meaning they can be held indefinitely without trial or charge.

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