EU 'Deeply Concerned' Over Israel's Arrest of Palestinian Minors in Wake of Ahed Tamimi Detention

Representatives of the organization in the region cautioned Israel against trampling children's rights, calling on it to act responsibly with Palestinian minors as 'the occupying power'

A demonstrator hold a poster that reads: 'Release Ahed' during a protest demanding the Palestinian teen's release in Paris on January 4, 2018.
Christophe Ena / AP

European Union representatives in the West Bank and in Gaza released on Friday a statement in which they expressed their "deep concern" over the arrests of Palestinian minors

They highlighted in particular three recent and high-profile instances: the arrests of Ahed Tamimi and Fawzi Muhammad al-Juneidi (the sixteen-year-old Palestinian teen whose arrest in which he was circled by soldiers in Hebron was caught on video) and the shooting that resulted in the death of seventeen-year-old Musaab al-Tamimi (a relative of Ahed).

The case of Ahed Tamimi drew attention and criticism after the sixteen-year-old Palestinian activist was detained. Her December arrest happened after she slapped an Israeli soldier, and she was later indicted on five counts of assaulting security forces and for throwing stones by the Israeli army's military prosecutor. Her mother, Nariman Tamimi, was charged for incitement on social media and for assault.

In their statement, the European Union Representative and Head of Mission in Jerusalem and in Ramallah assessed that some 300 Palestinian minors are currently behind held in detention by Israel.

The representatives reminded in their statement of the importance of defending the rights of children, especially during arrest, and called on Israeli authorities to "respond proportionately to protests, and open investigations following fatalities, in particular when involving a minor."

"The European Union and EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah continue to promote and protect the rights of the child. And we call on Israel to act accordingly, as the occupying power and duty bearer," the statement went on to say.