The number of Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons has increased to 250, says a lawyer with the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs.
Hiba Masalha said on Tuesday that the Israeli regime is conducting an “arrest campaign” over the alleged abduction of three Israeli settlers.
Masalha also denounced as “kidnapping” the act of arresting Palestinian children at their homes in the middle of the night by the Israeli forces. He further accused the Israeli forces of beating the detained children, describing it as a violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Israeli forces have arrested many Palestinians as part of a search campaign for three teenage settlers who Israel says went missing in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on June 12.
Tel Aviv accuses the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas of kidnapping the three Israelis; Hamas rejects the claim, saying that the Israeli regime seeks to sabotage the recent reconciliation accord reached between the movement and Fatah, which led to the formation of the Palestinian national unity government earlier this month.
Over 400 people, including Hamas members and lawmakers, have been arrested since June 12, Palestinian officials have confirmed. Several Palestinians have been also shot dead during the search operations, triggering international condemnation.
On Saturday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern over the mass arrests of the Palestinians and the restrictions on their movement in the West Bank.