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Parallels in Gaza: Children in the Hamas administration juvenile justice system
The abuse of children’s rights during arrest, transfer and detention is not only confined to the West Bank. In Gaza, too, DCI-Palestine has documented cases of physical violence toward children at the hands of the authorities.
In one week in August 2013, two cousins from the village of Rafah in southern Gaza were arrested, accused of writing anti-Hamas slogans on walls. Both were subjected to physical violence before being released. In September, a third child was subjected to the same treatment.
Mohammad S, 16, was arrested on August 22, 2013, after he responded to a summons to go to the Hamas internal security headquarters. He was blindfolded and beaten as he was questioned, before being taken to a nearby internal security house. There, an officer threatened to set him on fire.
“He said 'we're going to burn you like those in Rab'aa Al-Adawiya in Egypt.' The smell of petrol was strong, and it got stronger a few seconds later... Frankly, I was really scared.”
During his detention, officers attempted to establish links between him and Fatah, as well as Tamarod, an opposition movement in Gaza. On August 24, Mohammad’s cousin Wael S, 15, was arrested and subjected to the same treatment.
Hasan O, 15, was arrested on September 11, 2013, in northern Gaza. He was accused of distributing Tamarod leaflets at school, and was interrogated before being made to stand for an hour on one leg. He was then detained alone in a cramped, dark cell.
Following their detention and interrogation, all three of the boys were released without charge.