East Jerusalem, 17 October 2011 (UNICEF) – UNICEF appealed today to the Israeli Government to release all Palestinian children currently in Israeli military detention, following the announcement that they will release Palestinian prisoners as part of a prisoner swap deal.
As of 1 October, 164 Palestinians under 18 year of age were detained by Israeli authorities, most of them under charges of stone throwing. It is not clear whether the list of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners who are to be released in two stages includes children.
“UNICEF calls on the Israeli Government to release Palestinian child detainees so that they can be reunited with their families”, said Jean Gough, UNICEF Special Representative in the occupied Palestinian territory. “As stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the detention of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time”, she added.