Draft letter to MPs calling for action on Israel’s detention and mistreatment of Palestinian child prisoners


Dear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MP

I am writing to ask you to join fellow MPs who are seeking action on the mistreatment of Palestinian child prisoners by Israeli police and armed forces.

Since 2012, several reputable organisations (e.g. UNICEF, delegation of UK lawyers) have reported widespread ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military custody: Israel is routinely breaching at least six of its legal obligations under the UN Convention.  Despite the Israelis claiming that they would work with UNICEF, to date nothing has changed.

The UK government has already objected to: (1) the use of plastic ties; (2) arrests during the night; (3) absence of audio-visual recording of all interrogations; so it obviously accepts that these abuses are happening.  MPs have added: (4) hooding; (5) denial of parental support; (6) forced signatures to ‘confessions’ in Hebrew; (7) transfer of children from the Occupied Territories into Israel (a war crime).

Clearly, verbal protest by the British Government is not working, and action is needed.  Sarah Champion MP has proposed that identified perpetrators must be informed that if they enter the UK they will be arrested and charged with war crimes.  Caroline Lucas MP wants MPs to press the EU to end the EU-Israel Association Agreement; 63 MEPs have made the same request to the EU Parliament. The Agreement, which includes EU funding for Israeli arms companies, is formally dependent upon the parties abiding by Clause 2 on Human Rights.  Israel is breaching this daily.

The Foreign Office has announced that a delegation of lawyers is due to visit Israel/Palestine and will submit a report in due course.  In the meantime, there is incontestable evidence that the appalling ill-treatment of Palestinian children in custody continues and the Government shows no inclination to take any action; on the contrary, it stresses the UK position as a ‘friend of Israel’.

As my MP, please demand that immediate meaningful action be taken against the Israeli Government until it complies with international law.

Yours sincerely,





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