Tessa Jowell MP's written question on Palestinian child detainees following her visit to Ofer military court with Caabu

Posted by Caabu on 03 Feb 2014

Following a recent visit to Ofer military court on a Caabu delegation to Palestine, Labour MP Dame Tessa Jowell had a written question (20 January 2014) put to the Secreatary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague on the treatment of Palestinian child detainees. Tessa Jowell was part of a joint Caabu/Medical Aid for Palestinians delegation in January 2014. Also on the delegation was Conservative MP Nick Herbert.

On the treatment of Palestinian detainess, Jowell asked:

(1) if he will make urgent representations to the Israeli authorities concerning the conditions under which Palestinian children are arrested and detained within the first 24 hours of their arrest;

(2) what representations he has made to the Israeli authorities about the 40 recommendations made in the report, Children in Military Custody, published in June 2012;

(3) what steps the Government has taken to ensure that specific legal duties and obligations under article 1 of the Fourth Genevaconvention, to respect and to ensure respect for the convention in all circumstances, are being honoured in relation to the detention of children in military custody in the occupied territories.

Minister of State responsible for the Middle East, Hugh Robertson MP responded:

"We regularly urge the Israeli authorities to act in accordance with international law, including their legal obligations under theFourth Geneva convention, and to adopt recommendations of the report—including recommendations relating to the first 24 hours of arrest and detention such as not making arrests at night, informing parents of a child’s arrest in Arabic, ending shackling, allowing a parent or lawyer to accompany the child on arrest and audio-visual recording of interviews —and will continue to do so. Our ambassador to Tel Aviv discussed the issue and recommendations with the Israeli Attorney-General, the Ministry of Foreign Affairsand the Ministry of Justice on 31 December. The UK also raised this issue at Israel’s Universal Periodic Review session at the UN Human Rights Council on 29 October."

You can see the work Caabu has done on Palestinian detainees here, and see our report, Palestinian detainees: No Security in Injustice.