On the evening of Friday 26th January 2018, Inminds human rights group undertook a guerilla projection on the walls of the Palace of Westminster, to highlight the plight of Palestinian child prisoners in Israel dungeons.
Over a dozen slides depicting facts and figures about Palestinian child prisoners held by Israel, including recently abducted children, were projected onto the the British parliament.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "In the last 12 months 1,467 Palestinian children were caged by Israel, that's one child taken from their family every 6 hours. To put a face to this shocking statistic we chose 4 Palestinian child prisoners - two girls and two boys - and projected their images on to the seat of the British government. Their stories are the stories of every Palestinian child.. of living under military occupation.. of illegal abduction by occupation forces.. of being shackled and blindfolded whilst being abused by Israeli soldiers (40% of children taken in Jerusalem were found to have been sexually abused by the soldiers).. of torture during interrogation to coerce confessions (75% of the children are physically tortured).. of being processed by a rubber-stamp conveyor belt military court which finds 99.7% of all Palestinian children guilty of whatever charge the the military concocts.. of being handed down outrageous sentences like up to 20 years for throwing a stone.. to imprisonment in 1m x 3m cages not fit for animals. We hope the British government will take notice and think twice before providing Israel the weapons that sustain this illegal occupation."
The projection was unfortunately interrupted when two police vans pulled up with a dozen policemen bursting out and surrounding us. They initially invoked anti-terror legislation when we refused to share our details with them, but they backed down when we pointed out how ridiculous that sounded when the only weapons we had was a projector and camera. They did however insist on a private viewing of our projection before letting us go, we where happy to oblige and provided a running commentary for each slide giving the background details.. for some reason they kept on rushing us and eventually stopped us before we got to the end. They left us a souvenir in the form of a Stop & Search record sheet.
Four child prisoners - their stories are the stories of every Palestinian child..
Due to his fatherís injury and his motherís terminal illness, 16 years old Fawzi al-Juneidi is the bread earner in his family. He sacrificed his education to support his family. Whilst he was shopping for groceries he was ambushed by over two dozen Israeli soldiers. He was severely beaten during arrest and tortured during interrogation. Photos of his arrest, blindfolded, disoriented, with torn jeans, surrounded by over 25 armed occupation troops wearing armour padding has gone viral.
Almost every soldier who ambushed him, took turns to beat him with their rifle butts. He was so badly beaten one of his upper ribs moved 3cm out of place after repeatedly being struck with a rifle. The soldiers also dislocated his shoulder. His whole body was covered in bruises. The beating continued during interrogation, at one point he hide under the desk in the detention centre for cover, but they pulled him back up and continued to savagely beat him. They then threw him into a tub filled with cold water and took his shoes off and crushed his legs, trying to get him to confess to throwing a stone - a charge that carries a 20 year sentence. He was left bound on a concrete floor, denied medical treatment for 4 days until a judge ordered he be taken to hospital. Even in hospital the interrogation continued with the soldiers threatening him if he didn't confess.
With his condition rapidly deteriorating, he was finally given bail 14 days later, on ransom of 10000 shekels. As soon as he was released he was rushed to hospital.
16 years old school girl Ahed Tamimi is a prominent child activist in her village of Nabih Saleh which is under Israeli military occupation, surrounded by checkpoints and watchtowers and illegal settlements.
She was arrested after video of her courageously standing up to armed soldiers who had invaded her yard, who had less than an hour earlier shot her 14 years old cousin, Mohammed Tamimi, in the head at close range, went viral. Mohammed, in critical condition, had to be put in a medically induced coma for several days before seven surgeons operated on him for six hours to save his life.
After the video went viral, armed soldiers raided the Tamimi house in the early hours of the morning and abducted Ahed. When her mother Nariman went to the police station to support her daughter she too was arrested. Both mother and daughter are caged at Israel's notorious HaSharon prison facing multiple charges of resisting the occupation. If found guilty by the military court, which has a conviction rate of 99.7% for Palestinians, she could face over 20 years imprisonment.
12 years old Shadi Farah was abducted by occupation forces in December 2015 whilst waiting for a bus in Jerusalem. In a letter to her mother on her birthday Shadi wrote: "I want to tell you to keep your head high in the sky just like palm trees, never shaken by winds nor earthquakes, and I want you, my mother, to be proud because what I am going through is a test from God. I want you to convey my greetings to my relatives and friends and my brothers and sisters, especially Rayan."
Shadi gave his coat, which his mother fought to deliver to him, to the youngest female child prisoner in Israeli jails, 12 years old Dima al-Wawi, when they met on their way to an Israeli court. After her release, Dima was asked why she looked sad in her photos. Her answer was, 'because I left Shadi behind bars'".
Shadi is still behind bars. Following a 12 months imprisonment without charge or trial, he was sentenced to a further 2 years in prison. He was subjected to torture during interrogation with the interrogators stripping him naked and forcing him to sit facing the air-conditioner. They shaved all his hair off as a form of psychological torture. Despite consistently maintaining his innocence, his interrogation continued in the detention. He lost a lot of weight, and is currently suffering from eye and ear infection and chronic headache.
Razan Abu Sal
13 years old school girl Razan Abu Sal was abducted with her sister by Israeli soldiers near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al Khalil on 13th January 2018. Like most imprisoned Palestinian children she was accused of throwing a stone and sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and fined $800 USD.