Britain’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has conveyed its “serious human rights concerns” to Israeli officials, in particular highlighting the issue of Palestinian children being detained in the West Bank.
In the latest update to the government’s human rights and democracy report, the FCO says: “We continue to discuss our concerns over treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military justice system with the Israeli authorities.”
The non-governmental organisation (NGO) Defence for Children International says that 173 children were held in Israeli detention at the end of November 2013.
In addition, UNICEF’s six month progress report on child detainees highlighted an Israeli pilot scheme to use summons instead of night-time arrests in two areas of the West Bank, which the FCO described as “a welcome development”.
The report added that “the UK recommended an end to the use of solitary confinement for child detainees and the use of audio-visual recording in all interviews of child detainees”.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 12 Palestinians were killed and 493 injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank during the last three months of 2013, with 72 settler-related incidents in October and November which led to Palestinian casualties or property damage.