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Ending the detention of Palestinian children

Photo: Carl Roose / AFSC

On June 25, the American Friends Service Committee and Defense for Children International – Palestine will host a congressional briefing to discuss Palestinian children’s rights following the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

We hope you'll join us online or in person in Washington, D.C. for this important event. 

As many in the United States demand an end to the separation and detention of immigrant families, we will examine the ongoing detention of Palestinian children who are also ripped apart from their families. 

A generation of Palestinian children have lived under an Israeli military occupation with no end in sight. Each year, hundreds of Palestinian children are prosecuted in Israeli military courts and held in military detention. Whether it’s at the U.S.-Mexico border or in Israel and occupied Palestine, locking up kids in detention is no way to treat a child.

The briefing is part of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign, which seeks to end Israel’s military occupation of Palestinians by exposing widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system. 

Panelists will examine how persistent grave human rights violations, systemic impunity, discrimination, and recent U.S. policy decisions—like relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem—impact the lives of Palestinian children growing up under military occupation. 

We'll also provide updates on “The Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act,” or H.R. 4391, the first-ever bill to address Palestinian human rights in the U.S. Congress. The bill prohibits U.S. taxpayer funds from supporting grave human rights violations against Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system. H.R. 4391 was introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum, and a growing number of representatives continue to add their support. 

Here are more details on the briefing: 

When: Monday, June 25, 12:30 p.m. 

Where: 2044 Rayburn House Office Building, U.S. Capitol

Who: James Zogby, president, Arab American Institute; Bill Van Esveld, senior researcher, MENA, Children's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch; Farah Bayadsi, attorney, Defense for Children International - Palestine; Jehad Abusalim, policy consultant, AFSC; Diala Shamas, staff attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights. Moderated by Jennifer Bing, AFSC Palestine Israel Program director.

Watch the event live on AFSC’s Facebook page on June 25 at 12:30 p.m.  

It's critical that the U.S. take action to stop the violations of Palestinian children's rights and call for an end to the occupation. We hope that you will take time to watch the briefing to learn more and support our No Way to Treat a Child campaign.  

About the Author

Mike Merryman-Lotze is the American Friends Service Committee’s Palestine-Israel Program Director.  He coordinates AFSC’s Israel and Palestine focused advocacy and policy programming, working closely with AFSC’s offices in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and throughout the US. 

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