Palestinian children in the West Bank are subject to frequent arrests by the Israeli army. As of April, over 200 Palestinian minors were detained in Israeli prisons. The youngest to be arrested was 6 years old.
Achiya Schatz from anti-occupation organisation Breaking The Silence shared his thoughts:
"Children are a legitimate target. We arrest children!"
Breaking The Silence is a non-governmental organisation comprised of veterans from the Israeli military. Their self-proclaimed aim is to "expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life" in the Palestinian Territories and to "bring an end to occupation."
Achiya said Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law:
"By military law, if two kids, a Palestinian and a settler, throw rocks one another, let’s say they are 12 years old, the settler will not be judged in court - an Israeli court by Israeli civil law, but the Palestinian kid is under military law and at the age of 12 or 11 is going to be sent to court."
"Because he's going to be seen as a potential threat or as a security threat. So he is going to be judged by a military court having minimum rights, because we don't treat him as a person, but as a potential threat as an occupied population."
In March a 9 year old boy was seized from his school for allegedly throwing stones.
"Unlike the Israeli settler. We are not here to be on the behalf of the occupied population, but for the security of the settlers. We just need to make sure that they're not any sort of security threat. And in that sense, you'd find very young kids sitting in prison next to serious terrorists."
Minors as young as 12 can be arrested, most of them facing charges for throwing stones. The maximum sentence for this is 20 years in detention although most last a few months or a couple of years.