Israel’s arrest of minors adds fuel to Palestinian resistance
TEHRAN- The Palestinian Prisoners' Society has said that Israeli regime forces have arrested more than 750 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds since the start of the year. Amid an armed resistance movement emerging in the occupied West Bank, whose members are still in their youth, the trauma of these 750 children in Israeli dungeons will make the resistance against Israeli occupation stronger.
Israel’s arrest of minors adds fuel to Palestinian resistance – The local Palestinian NGO based in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, says the majority of the children, who have been arrested by the occupation’s forces this year, had been subjected to all forms of physical and psychological torture during their time in Israeli detention. This is in violation of international agreements and conventions on the rights of minors, but Israel enjoys impunity from international law. Even the regime’s war crimes and regular campaigns of pillage and massacres against the Palestinians have been ignored, and in many cases, supported by the international community.
Marking International Children’s Day, which coincided with November 20, 2022, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Detainees Affairs Commission said that Israel has detained more than 50,000 children since 1967.
The PLO Detainees Affairs Commission highlighted that some 160 children are still being held behind bars by the Israeli regime until this day. Three of these 160 children are girls being detained in the Israeli prison of Damon. They are Jannat Zaidat aged 16, Nufoud Hammad aged 16, and Zamzam Al-Qawasmeh aged 17.
The Commission added that the violent methods and brutal conditions when Israeli regime forces arrest children are of the exact same nature as when the regime arrests adults. That means many Palestinian children have been handcuffed and arrested by the Israeli occupation forces during the regime’s regular nighttime raids on Palestinian towns and villages. According to the commotion, others were taken away and kidnapped from the streets or on their way to schools, or on their way back home.
Palestinian authorities say this is one of the many practices Israel uses to intimidate Palestinian families and forces them to leave their homeland to pave the way for Israeli squatters to expand their presence on the ever-increasing settlements in the occupied West Bank and the holy Islamic city of al-Quds.
Some Palestinian children are first shot at by the regime’s forces and sustain injuries before being taken away to Israeli prisons.
In September, a prisoners’ advocacy group said the Israeli regime has detained more than 135,000 Palestinians since the signing of the Oslo Accords on September 13, 1993. In a statement, the Prisoners Affairs Commission said that some 20,000 children and 2,500 women had also been among those detained by Israeli forces during that span of time.
These are just some of the advocacy groups and institutions that have recently released figures on the arrest campaign of Palestinians, in particular minors.
Over the years, many other groups have recorded the detention of children by Israeli authorities. Among all these organizations, there is corresponding documentation of the violent methods with which the regime’s forces attack and arrest children and the torture of minors in Israeli prisons.
Palestinian analysts say if Israel thinks it can terrorize the younger Palestinian generation to accept the status quo through its intimidation tactics, it has miscalculated its policies.
Over the decades, despite suffering from ongoing wide-scale terror attacks by the Israeli regime, the Palestinians have shown heroism in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
This year the Lion’s Den Brigade emerged out of the occupied cities of Hebron and Nablus, in the occupied West Bank. The new movement appears to be changing the face of Palestinian resistance by gaining fame for notable retaliatory operations against Israeli checkpoints, soldiers, settlements, and occupied Palestinian territories.
What differentiates this movement from other Palestinian resistance groups is that its members are reported to be very young. The same Palestinian youth has witnessed all kinds of Israeli violations, like massacres, night-time military raids on towns and villages, and arrest campaigns.
It is highly possible that some of these young armed resistance forces were once arrested and put inside Israeli jails themselves.
While reports suggest the Lion’s Den Brigade is unique because its forces are supporters of different Palestinian factions in the occupied West Bank as well as the besieged Gaze Strip making the group a very united one.
The movement itself has distanced itself from such reports saying its sole aim is to liberate Palestinian territories from Israeli occupation and they are ready to sacrifice their lives until the last bullet instead of being taken into Israeli custody.
It’s not just the Lion’s Den that has hit the headlines this year. Other groups have also emerged and conducted retaliatory operations as well as lone wolf operations that have retaliated against Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing efforts.
The element that unites all these operations is those conducting them are not only young Palestinians but have also regained a strong desire for their national identity and have had enough of the rise in Israeli settlers desecrating the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.
In its extensive military operation this year, code-named “Break the Wave”, that saw daily military raids in the occupied West Bank, especially in Jenin, Israel tried to crush the young Palestinian resistance but failed in its efforts, despite being in possession of some of the most advanced weapons on the planet.
While Israel continues to target Palestinian youth, the move is only making the younger Palestinian generation more resilient, brave, and steadfast in changing the equation between the regime and oppressed residents of the occupied West Bank.
This is while Israel enjoys the support of the West in targeting Palestinian minors. The silence and double standards of Western governments and some monarchies in West Asia, when it comes to Israeli violations, speak volumes.
The Gaza-based Hamas Movement has called on the United Nations to include Israel in its annual “List of Shame” for its violations against Palestinian children and to impose pressure on the regime for the immediate release of all children from its jails.
In a statement on the occasion of International Children’s Day, Hamas called on the UN and international human rights groups to protect Palestinian children against Israel’s violations and terrorism and prosecute the entity’s ruling war criminals.
The movement has also pointed out that at least 35 Palestinian children have been murdered by Israeli forces this year alone and 160 others have suffered from different forms of psychological and physical torture in Israeli prisons.
It censured the international body for allowing the regime to violate the rights of minors without any accountability, in essence emboldening the regime to continue targeting children.
“The UN is marking International Children’s Day while the suffering of the Palestinian children, who are exposed to the most heinous forms of crime by the Israeli war machine and its systematic racist policy, is ongoing,” the movement said.
It described International Children’s Day as an important annual event for the global community that should be used to highlight the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian children at the hands of the regime calling on international organizations to work on protecting them against Israel’s aggressive practices.
There are doubts the international community will take any action to punish Israel for its grave violations and terror against children but all the signs indicate that Palestinian minors have already paved the way for a new armed struggle in the occupied West Bank that will make it difficult for the Israeli military to stop a growing resistance movement.