Many of the most iconic photographs of the last 50 years depict the suffering of children. It is difficult to think about the current refugee crisis throughout Europe without being reminded of three-year-old Alan Kurdi’s body lying lifeless on a beach in Turkey. The suffering of children affects us immensely: the horror of any given event becomes all too real when it is condensed into the contours of a child’s tormented face.
It is perhaps with this in mind that the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign has organised a documentary double feature which details Israel’s detention of Palestinian children within Israeli prisons.
The event’s Facebook page makes for grim reading. There are currently 5,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons, a number which includes 500 interned without trial, 50 women and 200 children. Every year there are an average of 700 Palestinian children arrested who are then tried in non-jury military courts, which have a 99.7% conviction rate. These trials last an average of five minutes.
The event will begin with a showing of the documentary short film Breaking the Generations. The film is 25 minutes long and explores Israel’s policies of arrest and detention and their impact upon Palestinian prisoners, their families and their communities.
The film consists of a series of interviews with those who are directly affected by Israel’s policies and with humanitarian physicians and lawyers. Through these interviews, the film details the medical negligence which exists in Israeli prisons, while simultaneously questioning the international community’s acceptance of such practices.
Breaking the Generations is intended as an introduction to the event’s centrepiece: Imprisoning a Generation. This film clocks in at 50 minutes and follows four Palestinian children who have been detained and imprisoned under the Israeli military and political systems. The film is deeply disturbing, featuring footage of children being kicked and brutally arrested by Israeli soldiers, as well as emotional interviews with the four kids’ families. It demonstrates the cruelties endemic to Israel’s current policies and its effects upon the four children.
This event is scheduled for 6.30pm on Thursday, September 12th in the Pearse Centre.