Israel is mistreating Palestinian children by detaining them.
In November 2017, ten Democratic members of Congress introduced legislation calling on the State Department to “prevent United States tax dollars from supporting the Israeli military’s ongoing detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children” (“Resources on H.R. 4391,” Congresswoman Betty McCollum). The legislation was apparently prompted because of lobbying by anti-Israel organizations disseminating misinformation produced in part by the Palestinian non-governmental organization Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P).
It is true that Israel detains Palestinians who are under the age of 18. It is also true that these “children” are often involved in violent crimes and are recruited to engage in terrorism by their elders. As famed lawyer and human rights activist Alan Dershowitz noted, “children as young as 13 have stabbed Israelis with scissors, screwdrivers and knives with the aim of inflicting maximum harm” (Alan M. Dershowitz, “How Ten Dem (Dumb) Members of Congress Encourage the Use of Child Terrorists,” Gatestone Institute, November 23, 2017). In fact, shortly after the legislation was introduced a 16-year-old Palestinian hiding a gun was arrested at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron (Elisha Ben Kimon, “16-year-old Palestinian arrested at Cave of Patriarchs for hiding gun on his person,” Ynetnews, November 27, 2017).
Palestinian minors are most often arrested for stone throwing, which is sometimes treated by the press and Israel’s detractors as inconsequential. In many instances, however, stone throwing, especially directed at moving vehicles, has resulted in serious injuries and some fatalities (“The Deadly Reality of Palestinian Rock Throwing,” IDF Blog, February 24, 2014). There are also numerous examples of Palestinian teens committing heinous crimes. For example: