Jerusalem (The Inside Palestine)-Israeli forces released 18 Palestinian children late on Friday, after they were arrested during raids on al-Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem earlier that day.
The children were all under the age of 14, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.
The minors were released at the Qalandia military checkpoint to the north of Jerusalem, after being held for hours at the Ma’ale Edumim prison, built on an illegal Israeli settlement situated on the expropriated lands of Isawiya village.
It was not yet clear what treatment the children received while in Israeli custody.
Data gathered by Defence for Children International (DCI Palestine) notes that 75 percent of children arrested between 2016 and 2021 experienced physical violence at the hands of their Israeli captors, and 97 percent were interrogated without the provision of a family member.
Israel is the only country in the world that prosecutes children in military courts, which lack the provision of basic rights and protections.
Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year, according to DCI Palestine.
Israeli forces stormed Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound early on Friday, firing stun grenades, tear gas and live rounds as Muslim worshippers were performing prayers in the holy site.
Nearly 400 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces, the head of the Jerusalem Prisoners’ Families Committee, Amjad Abu Asab, said, while at least 150 Palestinians were injured, the Red Crescent reported.
The Palestinian presidency has slammed the escalation as a “declaration of war”.
Source: The New Arab