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Israeli Abuse Of Palestinian Children In Prison 'Systematic,' Says UN Report

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Children abused in Israeli prisonsThe ill-treatment of Palestinian minors held within the Israeli military detention system is "widespread, systematic and institutionalised," a report Wednesday by the UN children's fund found.

UNICEF in the 22-page report that examined the Israeli military court system for holding Palestinian children found evidence of practices it said were "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment."

"Ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalised," it concluded, outlining 38 recommendations to improve the protection of children in custody.

Over the past decade, Israeli forces have arrested, interrogated and prosecuted around 7,000 Palestinian children aged between between 12 and 17, most of them boys, the report said, noting the rate was equivalent to "an average of two children each day."

"In no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights," it said.

The vast majority of arrests are for throwing stones, which is considered an offence under Section 212 of Military Order 1651.

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