Israeli forces detained Palestinian children in night raids
Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinian children after storming their houses during a night raid near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, forcing them to spend a cold night in custody before being freed without explanation, an Israeli daily Harretz reported on Friday.
Yasser Arafat Shkeir, 12, and friend Yazen Kados, 11, were detained on 24 October in a night raid on the village of Al-Zawiya, following allegations that they "threw stones" at Israeli soldiers.
They also ordered Arafat's older brother, Mutasim, 22, and Kado's father, Na'm, 42, to go with them.
"The four were shuttled from place to place and handcuffed and blindfolded some of the time. At no point did any of the soldiers offer them food or shelter from the cold," Haaretz said.
No one spoke to them nor informed them why they were being detained in that manner, the report said.
After about 15 hours, they were returned to the entrance of their village and told to go back home without any explanation, the report said.
Israeli forces often carry out overnight raids in the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank to arrest suspected Palestinians who they accuse of planning "a future offence".
Thousands of Palestinians are being held in Israeli detention, sometimes for months, without trial.
Detainees have held hunger strikes to protest their status and the conditions in Israeli prisons, and say they lack basic fundamental rights.
Rights groups have repeatedly slammed Israel's use of administrative detention - incarceration without a charge or trial - against Palestinians.
The detention orders can be extended indefinitely and the evidence on which it is based is not disclosed.
"Israel employs this measure extensively and routinely and has used it to hold thousands of Palestinians for lengthy periods," Israeli NGO B'Tselem has said.
"While detention orders are formally reviewed, this is merely a semblance of judicial oversight, as detainees cannot reasonably mount a defense against undisclosed allegations."