A Palestinian human rights body says Israeli military forces have arrested at least 2,000 Palestinian children under the age of 18 since the third Intifada (uprising) against the Tel Aviv regime swept through occupied territories last October.
Spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies (PPCS), Riyad al-Ashqar, said the detentions constitute 36 percent of the total 5,500 arrests Israeli forces have made so far, Arabic-language al-Aqsa satellite television network reported on Saturday.
He added that children were mainly detained in the occupied al-Quds as well as the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), situated 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds,
The arrested Palestinians were in some cases even less than 10 years old, and had been suffering from gunshot wounds sustained at the scene, according to Ashqar.
Ashqar said 450 Palestinian children, including sixteen below the age of 14, are currently being held in Israeli prisons and detention facilities, naming 11-year-old Ali al-Alqam from al-Quds as on of the youngest Palestinian prisoners.
The PPCS spokesman stated that the number of arrested Palestinian children and teenagers has hit a record high compared to previous years, noting that Israeli officials view the youngsters as the drive force behind the ongoing Intifada across the occupied lands.
The Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs announced in a report released on April 3 that six Palestinian minors are being held by the Israeli authorities under administrative detention.
Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eight, ten and eleven years without any charges brought against them.
There are reportedly more than 6,500 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.
The occupied territories have been the scene of heightened tensions since August 2015, when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
More than 210 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015.