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UK silence on Israel’s detention of Palestinian children

Despite acknowledging ill-treatment of Palestinian kids, UK voted against a UN resolution on Israel’s accountability.In 2012, a report by a UK government-sponsored delegation of lawyers to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories found Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children in military detention to be in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Six years on, however, and Israel has made only modest changes; according to government minister Alistair Burt, speaking in the Houses of Parliament earlier this year, Israel has implemented just one of 43 specific recommendations made by the lawyers.At the time, Brad Parker, International Advocacy Officer at Defense for Children International-Palestine, told Al Jazeera the report was “a particularly useful tool that provided a cogent case study of the separate and unequal legal framework Israeli authorities operate in the occupied West Bank“.“The report established the UK government as a critical voice on Israel’s widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees.

But with so few substantial changes made to the system of Israeli military detention, many are calling into question the wisdom of a UK government strategy limited to, as Burt told Parliament in the same debate, “regular dialogue” with Israeli officials.“It is time for ‘urging’ to be turned into concrete actions,” Parker said, actions “centred on ending physical violence against Palestinian children and holding Israel accountable to international law norms to end Israeli ‘exceptionalism’.”

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UK silence on Israel’s detention of Palestinian children

Despite acknowledging ill-treatment of Palestinian kids, UK voted against a UN resolution on Israel’s accountability.In 2012, a report by a UK government-sponsored delegation of lawyers to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories found Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children in military detention to be in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.