–Submitted by Mark Hage, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine
Media Reports from Occupied Palestine
Number of Palestinian Child Prisoners Increases
Excerpted from an article by Yumna Patel
Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, Israel has stepped its arrest of Palestinian children in the occupied territories, a new report from Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) says.
According to the report, released on Tuesday [April 21], 194 Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons and detention centers, marking a six percent increase from January.
Using data released by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), DCIP found that as of March 31 only 28 percent of Palestinian child detainees were actually serving out sentences, while the rest, over 60 percent of them (117 out of 194) were being held in pretrial custodial detention.
The data also indicated that the majority of the detainees were ages 16-17, while 30 were ages 14-15. Israeli forces have been documented as arresting Palestinian children as young as 12 years old.
From the time of arrest — which usually takes place in the middle of the night — until the time they are processed in court, children face a number of rights violations, including physical harm, verbal abuse, coercion during interrogation, and being denied the presence of parents or lawyers during their interrogation.
DCIP estimates that “nearly three out of four Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces experiences some form of physical violence.”
GAZA COVID-19 MURAL IN SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN PRISONERS
There are nearly 5,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. To learn more about their collective struggle and resistance from their own perspective, click here to read an excerpt from Ramzy Baroud’s latest volume, “These Chains Will Be Broken: Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Jails.”
Netanyahu, Gantz & West Bank Annexation
An Israeli government for Likudniks to love
Excerpted from an Opinion Piece by Israeli Jonathan Ofer
Israel got itself a unity government this week [April 20-24].
The new structure agreed upon is based on a coalition of two blocs that mistrust one another– which are literally defined as such.
The setup is that the two blocs have an equal ministerial count of 15 each. Gantz’s Blue-White-dominated bloc includes Labor (with two ministerial posts), and Netayanhu’s Likud bloc has its 15 posts.
Under the agreement, Netanyahu will serve as Prime Minister for the first 18 months, and Gantz would then take over for the second period of 18 months.
The government is rationalized on the logic of the coronavirus crisis, which is why it has a 6-month “emergency” period that could be extended by three-month increments upon agreement.
In this period, the blocs have veto right over each other – but there is one exception: Annexation. Gantz’s bloc will not oppose it, it’s secured.
According to this agreement, by the 1st of July there would be a go-ahead for legislating annexation of large swaths of the Palestinian Occupied West Bank, including the majority of Israeli settler-colonies.