Thank you for contacting me about Israel's treatment of Palestinian children.
I appreciate your concern for this issue, and I will ensure that Ministers at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) are aware of the points you have raised.
I know that the UK repeatedly calls on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and has a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. The UK continues to stress to the Israeli security forces the importance of providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, children in particular, and of restraint in the use of live fire.
I too am concerned about Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons and I know that the UK Government shares these concerns. Reports of the heavy use of painful restraints and the high number of Palestinian children who are not informed of their legal rights, in contravention of Israel's own regulations, are particularly concerning, as is, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the continued transfer of Palestinian child and adult detainees to prisons inside Israel.
However, I am assured that the UK remains committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention and that our Embassy in Tel Aviv is in regular dialogue with Israel on this issue. I welcome that the UK also funds projects providing legal aid to minors and capacity building to local lawyers.
It is for reasons such as the above that Israel and the OPTs remain a human rights priority for the FCDO, as documented in the most recent Human Rights and Democracy Report last year. I am confident that the UK will continue to monitor these issues closely and raise them with the relevant authorities where necessary.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP