“Israel’s system of military juvenile detention is state-sponsored child abuse designed to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian children and their families. It must be condemned, but it is equally outrageous that U.S. tax dollars in the form of military aid to Israel are permitted to sustain what is clearly a gross human rights violation against children.” ~ Congresswoman Betty McCollum

“Children in the Israeli military detention system face inhumane treatment such as beatings, strip searches, psychological abuse, weeks in solitary confinement, and being denied access to a lawyer during interrogations, new research by Save the Children found. Save the Children consulted more than 470 children from across the West Bank who have been detained over the past ten years. The organization found that the majority of children were taken from their homes at night, blindfolded, with their hands painfully bound behind their backs. Many of the respondents said they were not told why they were being arrested or where they were going.” — Defenceless: The impact of the Israeli military detention system on Palestinian children (2020)

“Each year an average of 700 Palestinian children — most of them accused of throwing stones — are prosecuted in two Israeli military courts operating in the West Bank.  From the moment of arrest, Palestinian children encounter ill-treatment and in some cases torture at the hands of Israeli soldiers, policemen and interrogators. This information has been documented by Defense for Children International/Palestine and UNICEF, among others.” — 2015 Human Rights Watch Report: Israel: Security Forces Abuse Palestinian Children – Chokeholds, Beatings, Coercive Interrogations

“Future peace between Palestinians and Israelis will be negatively impacted by the continued experiences of Palestinian children subjected to the harsh practices by the Israeli military court system. International civil society has agreed that children aged 12-17 under detention are not to be subjected to any form of abuse. Israel has signed on to a number of international conventions regarding the treatment of children, including the 1989 Conventions on the Rights of the Child and 1984 Convention Against Torture. The Israeli military system in the Occupied Territories needs to adhere to the standards of the International Conventions in their treatment of children. We believe that the United States government should put pressure on the Israeli government to end the detention and abuse of Palestinian children” — No Way to Treat a Child

“Palestinian teenagers from East Jerusalem are pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, unnecessarily handcuffed and interrogated without being given the opportunity to speak to a lawyer or their parents before the questioning begins and without being informed of their right to remain silent,” the groups found. “They are then held under harsh conditions, repeatedly remanded to custodial detention for additional period of days and even weeks, even once their interrogation has ended. In some cases, all this is attended by verbal abuse or threats and physical abuse.” — New report details Israel’s ‘broad systemic abuse’ of East Jerusalem minors

Ahed Tamimi: Living Resistance — VIDEO
Israel Indicts Palestinian Teen Activist Ahed Tamimi — VIDEO
Radiance of Resistance: A film about the Tamimis and Nebi Saleh

Why Ahed Tamimi’s slap is so thrilling to Palestinians

“By slapping their faces, you are telling those aggressors to permit the return of the exiled Palestinian Refugees and to end the apartheid their state forces on us, the Palestinian citizens of Israel, under its racist exclusivist dogma of ‘the Jewish State.’” — Hatim Kanaaneh, 2018

NBC NEWS VIDEO: Growing Up in the Gaza Strip in the Dark
Teenage son of prominent Bil’in activist arrested while buying pizza, sentenced to 19 months in Israeli prison
Minors in Jeopardy: Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors by Israel’s Military Courts (2018 B’Tselem Report)

The Plight of Child Prisoners: Israel’s Glaring Human Rights Violations“Rising physical violence against Palestinian child detainees” / “UNICEF report confirms ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees remains systematic” / “New U.S. government report highlights violations against Palestinian kids”

In May 2019, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) introduced legislation — Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living under Israeli Military Occupation Act, H.R. 2407 — to prevent United States tax dollars from supporting the Israeli military’s ongoing detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children.

Youth Against Settlements founder Issa Amro writes about Keeping Palestinian Identity Alive in Hebron.
Palestinian activist from Hebron meets Bernie Sanders

“Issa Amro is a prominent Palestinianhuman rights defender and activist based in HebronWest Bank. He is the coordinator and co-founder of the grassroots group Youth Against Settlements. Amro is a spokesman for and practitioner of Palestinian popular resistance against the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories. He advocates the use of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience focused on the city of Hebron. [1] [2] [3]  In 2010, he was declared “human rights defender of the year in Palestine” by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [4]  and is recognized as a human rights defender by the European Union. [5]  In 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council expressed concern for his wellbeing and safety due to numerous accounts of harassment from Israeli soldiers and settlers and a series of arbitrary arrests. [6]  At present, Amro is being indicted by the Israeli military court with 18 charges against him. [7] [8]  In May 2017,  Bernie Sanders along with three U.S. Senators and 32 Congressmen wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to urge Israeli authorities to reconsider the charges against Amro. [9] [10] ” — Wikipedia

Common Ground Advisory Board Chair Ayman Nijim is a child trauma and recovery specialist. Co-founder and manager of Let the Children Play and Heal at Afaq Jadeeda Center, Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza, Ayman was liaison for the Middle East Children’s Alliance during implementation of the Maia Project, which provides desalinated water to Gaza’s schools.

Speaking at universities, churches and community groups throughout the United States, Ayman has discussed his own childhood growing up in Gaza, PTSD recovery work with traumatized Gazan children and families, cross-cultural coordination with international humanitarian groups and his inclusive, egalitarian psychosocial-political outlook that sees “conflict transformation, not just conflict resolution” as essential for creating lasting peace in Palestine/Israel, and why establishing one secular democratic state with equal rights for all is necessary to achieve this goal.

Common Ground shares the goal of “being peace and doing justice” espoused by Interfaith Youth Initiative, managed by Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries: “Together we will interpret and embody Mahatma Gandhi’s spiritual vision of justice and peace while living out Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Beloved Community.” We share IFYI’s five core values — “building bridges, engaging faith, training leaders, making peace and serving others” — and support IFYI’s goal that “participants explore and embrace their own leadership and peacemaking styles, becoming agents of positive social transformation in their schools, communities and congregations.” (http://coopmet.org/ifyi/)

We also share the mission of Kids 4 Peace, which is “dedicated to encouraging children of different cultures and faith traditions to explore their differences and similarities, and to learn understanding, tolerance and respect, while fostering sustainable friendships across the lines of conflict.” (www.kids4peaceboston.org/about-us)

Israeli soldiers routinely arrest Palestinian children as young as 10 and 11, accuse them of throwing stones, beat them, hold them blindfolded and handcuffed for hours without legal counsel or notifying their parents, interrogate them and refuse to release them for days or weeks until they sign confessions written in Hebrew, which they cannot read.

Issa Amro, Founder of Youth Against Settlements, Hebron, West Bank, meets with U.S. Senator Bernie