Ramallah, occupied Palestinian territories – A dirty mattress fills up a space barely two metres long and one metre wide. A suffocating stench emanating from the toilet hovers over the windowless room, and a light turned on 24/7 means sleep is a distant dream. This is the infamous Cell 36 in Al Jalameh Prison in Israel. It’s one of the cells that many Palestinian children have either heard of or, worse, been inside when placed in solitary confinement.
The children imprisoned here are most often taken from their homes between midnight and 5am. Most don’t even see it coming. In one case, in Beit Ummar near Bethlehem, Israeli soldiers detained a Palestinian boy after reportedly taking some of the house’s doors off their hinges. Most of the children detained live close to “friction points”, areas close to Israeli settlements, roads used by settlers or near the separation wall. And their offence is almost always throwing stones at settlers or troops.
“Mohammad was interrogated for two to three hours every day while sitting on a low seat with his hands tied to the chair.”