The Stream

Why is Israel jailing Palestinian minors?

The case of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi has caught world attention but there have been thousands before her and many are still behind bars.

Ahed Tamimi has made international headlines. The 16-year-old Palestinian’s defiant slapping of an Israeli soldier was heard across the world as footage of the incident went viral. Tamimi, an already prominent activist, was later detained and she remains behind bars, charged with 12 different offences

But Ahed Tamimi is not alone. There are hundreds of Ahed Tamimis and there have been thousands before her. According to the latest official figures, 331 Palestinian minors are currently held in Israeli prisons. 

And since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian minors have been arrested and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system, according to advocacy group Defence for Children International Palestine. 

The most common conviction? Stone throwing.

Critics of the system say minors should not be processed through what they call kangaroo courts and that the real goal is to discourage resistance to occupation.

Israel says the minors have committed serious crimes and often threatened State security.

So where does the truth lie? 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Manal Tamimi @screamingtamimi
Activist and Cousin of Ahed Tamimi

Brad Parker @baparkr
International Advocacy Officer and Staff Attorney, Defense for Children International-Palestine

Budour Hassan @Budour48

Yazan Meqbil @MeqbilYazan
Student, Goshen College

Read more:

Detained, Arrested and Harassed – Haaretz
Palestinian Ahed Tamimi arrested by Israeli forces – Al Jazeera 

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