World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli authorities last week placed three Palestinian minors from East Jerusalem under administrative detention, a move rights group say is unprecedented in the city, as Israel heightens security measures amid a month of deadly violence.
On Oct. 19, Fadi Abassi, 17, and Mohammed Ghaith, 17, were arrested after dawn raids on their homes in the neighborhood of Silwan, according to Defense for Children International - Palestine.
All three teenagers have been detained on charges of throwing rocks at Israeli police vehicles and questioned at the Oz and al-Mascobiya interrogation centers.
Days earlier on Oct. 16, Kathem Sbeih, 17, was detained from his family home in Jabal al-Mukkabir, a neighborhood at the heart of current tensions which Israel earlier in the month sealed off from the neighboring East Talpiot settlement with concrete blocks and a wall.
The policy of administrative detention -- which dates back to emergency laws under the British Mandate -- came under intense scrutiny earlier this year following a 65 day hunger strike by Palestinian detainee Muhammad Allan to protest his detention without trial.
In April, the United Nations Human Rights Office expressed concern by the continued and increasing use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities against Palestinians, who are being held without charge or trial, often on the basis of secret evidence, for periods of up to six months.
Despite this, the policy has been widely implemented since the escalation of violence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, across the whole of Palestine.
In East Jerusalem, the policy is authorized under an Emergency Powers law, which allows the Israeli Minister of Defense to administratively detain any individual deemed a threat to public or state security.
Since the beginning of October, at least 94 administrative detention orders have been issued against Palestinians, with 24 in East Jerusalem alone, according to Rafat Sub Laban, a lobbying and advocacy unit coordinator at Addameer speaking to Ma'an news agency.
“We believe this is unprecedented by Israeli authorities to put children from East Jerusalem under administrative detention,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability director of DCI - Palestine, told Ma’an.
“It’s part and parcel of the ideology and policies of Israeli authorities to suppress the Palestinian people who are living there.”
DCI says that neither Abassi or Ghaith were informed of their right to remain silent and were not allowed to consult a lawyer prior to their interrogation, which took place without the presence of a family member.
Abassi's father, Hassan, told Ma'an that Fadi was detained from their home as other members of the family were made to wait in a separate room.
Fadi dropped out of school but had recently signed up to be part of a sports club. After he was arrested the family knew nothing of his whereabouts until they contacted a lawyer, but Hassan said he wasn't surprised by the arrest.
"That is the life now of every youth in Jerusalem," he told Ma'an.