Israeli officials are concerned that Britain is singling out Israel in a government-funded program for the “protection of human rights of Palestinian minors in Israeli detention,” according to Monday’s Jerusalem Post.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a tender two weeks ago for organizations to submit proposals to “work with Israeli and Palestinian stakeholders to effect change in one of the following areas: 1. Protection of human rights of Palestinian minors in Israeli detention. 2. Engaging with the Israeli authorities on improving Gaza movement and access.”
It did not appear that Britain was making similar efforts to safeguard the rights of underage detainees in the Palestinian Authority, the Gaza Strip or other countries around the world.
Israeli authorities defend the incarceration of Palestinian minors on the grounds that in most instances they have committed crimes, often endangering the lives and wellbeing of others.
In the case of three-year-old Adele Biton, Hy”d, it was five Palestinian minors who threw the rocks that hit the car she was riding in, and which caused her death in February 2013 on the road from Yakir to Tel Aviv.
”Minors are not innocent by virtue of simply being minors,” the officials say.
In a response to queries on the matter, the British Embassy in Israel effectively denied Israel was being singled out:
“The embassy’s recent call for bids for projects represents our intention to continue working with Israel to encourage further improvements. This engagement is part of the U.K.’s wider work on the subject of minors and human rights around the world, as outlined in our annual human rights report. This work also includes advising and assisting the PASF [Palestinian Authority security forces] on developing a training curriculum related to human rights.”