WASHINGTON – Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollum is introducing legislation that aims to “promote human rights” for Palestinian children that are detained in Israel.
In her bill, entitled “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act,” McCollum claims Palestinian children detained in Israel are subject to mistreatment. The legislation aims to prevent tax dollars from “supporting the Israeli military’s ongoing detention” of Palestinian children, and would require the Secretary of State to certify how American funding is used.
“Given that the Israeli government receives billions of dollars in assistance from the United States, Congress must work to ensure that American taxpayer dollars never support the Israeli military’s detention or abuse of Palestinian children,” a press release from McCollum’s office states.
The imprisonment of Palestinian children comes as Israelis face a rise in terrorist attacks committed by young Palestinians.
Palestinian terrorist leaders have been known to recruit young Palestinians to commit acts of terror against Israelis, knowing Israel is more lenient on child terrorists than their adult counterparts. Since September 2015, there have been at least 79 separate terrorist attacks committed by Palestinian children. The attacks are gruesome and barbaric, often carried out with knives, scissors, and screwdrivers.
With the growing threat from child terrorists, the Israeli parliament passed legislation last year allowing terrorists as young as 12 to be imprisoned. Despite the rising number of Palestinian children committing terrorist attacks, McCollum believes the detention is a “human rights violation.”
“This legislation highlights Israel’s system of military detention of Palestinian children and ensures that no American assistance to Israel supports human rights violations,” McCollum said in a statement. “Peace can only be achieved by respecting human rights, especially the rights of children. Congress must not turn a blind eye the unjust and ongoing mistreatment of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation.”
Despite claiming to be an advocate for the “rights of children,” McCollum does not address whether Palestinian terrorists are committing a human rights violation by recruiting children to commit gruesome attacks.
McCollum is joined on the legislation by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), André Carson (D-IN), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-AZ), and Chellie Pingree (D-ME).