The Palestinian Center for Defending Prisoners reported in early April that the apartheid state of Israel still holds captive 423 Palestinian children under the age of 18.
Many of these children are innocent. They are arrested for nothing more than throwing rocks at heavily-armed and bulled-proofed Israeli occupation troops.
“The children stay in very difficult circumstances in the Israeli jails,” the center said in a report, adding the Israeli jailers “put them under psychological pressure and some jailers molested some of the children.”
The prison authorities places eight to ten children in one room of four meter square, the report added.
According to the center, “231 of the children were sentenced while 182 are still waiting their trial. Ten children are subject to administrative detention without any charge.”
In the documentary “Slingshot Hip Hop,” two Palestinian boy aged no more than 16 years were arrested and imprisoned for more than four years. Their crime? Throwing rocks in a protest. . . two years prior to the arrest. The boys, Balil and Rami, reported that they were tortured frequently and verbally vilified routinely. What struck me so much about the boys was their steadfastness. They did not speak with fear or in any effort that sought to evoke sympathy. They spoke from prison via phone and stated that this is what the Palestinians simply have to put up with as an occupied people. That they have to remain strong in the face of an injustice. They cannot submit to mournfulness. They have to remain standing and stoic. Balil and Rami made me appreciate even more the strength of the Palestinian people. That no matter the injustices of Israel, the Palestinians cannot be subdued. That a people that produces young men who can take such a cruel imprisonment and still hold their head up will never be beaten. They and their cause are simply too strong. As Bilal and Rami stated, “an injustice cannot last forever, and ours will surely pass as well.”