Sunday, September 29, 2013

Palestinians and Israelis: Not equal before the law; the occupier's law

“So what does discrimination look like in the West Bank? Well, take the example of a Palestinian child who throws a stone at a child from a settlement, or visa versa. Under the principle of non-discrimination, both children should be dealt with equally under the law. This does not mean that Israel must apply its civilian law to Palestinians, as this would be viewed as annexation, but the military law applied to Palestinians must provide rights and protections no less favorable than those afforded to Israeli citizens living in the settlements. However, the current reality in the West Bank is that Palestinian children accused of throwing stones are prosecuted in military courts, whereas their Israeli counterparts living in the settlement next door, are dealt with in Israel’s civilian juvenile justice system.
Not surprisingly, the civilian system has far greater rights and protections than its military counterpart, as the examples below illustrate:
• Settler children cannot be interrogated at night, whereas a Palestinian child can be;
• Settler children can consult with a lawyer prior to questioning, whereas a Palestinian child rarely does;
• Settler children are accompanied by a parent when questioned, a Palestinian child is not;
• Settler children see a judge within 12-24 hours following arrest, whereas Palestinian children must wait at least twice as long;
• Settler children can not be imprisoned if under 14, whereas a 12-year-old Palestinian child can be; and
• If convicted Israeli children stand a 6.5 percent chance of imprisonment, whereas 90 percent of Palestinian children are incarcerated.”


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