Legal instructions and directives on the treatment of minors involved in acts of opposition to the Disengagement plan and the evacuations entailed therein – updated version to date with the closing of the evacuation areas and the period of the Disengagement.
A. The purpose of this document is to concentrate all legal instructions and directives that have been issued up to this time of how to deal with minors involved in acts of opposition to the Disengagement plan and to the evacuation of the settlers and all that this entails.
B. This document is an update to the document released on 21 April 2005 by the Head of the Youth Division. Due to changes in the regulations and the additions given here anyone with the previous document is requested to disregard it and replace it with this current release.
Directives on investigation and prosecution of minors involved in demonstrations and the blocking of roads that are expected to occur in opposition to the Disengagement – until the beginning of and throughout the evacuation period in areas outside the Disengagement territories.
A. On the treatment of minors:
- The enforcement policy that was established towards adults, which includes arrest procedures, a criminal record and prosecution in court, will be subject to change due to the sensitive nature in dealing with minors and subject to the instructions laid down in the Youth Law (judgment, punishment and treatment) 1971, which applies to minors as well. This decision has been taken because many youths and minors are involved in the most serious of demonstrations.
- Despite the above, it is possible in exceptional instances, where the circumstances justify it, to show leniency towards minors.
- When dealing with youth, especially those old enough to bare criminal liability, the youth directives in existence will stay in affect and arresting of minors should be avoided as much as possible, with that it must be emphasized that in accordance with the existing directives it is allowed, when there are severe incidences, to treat minors strictly, if needed by arresting, initiating a criminal record and bringing them to trial.
B. Parental involvement of arrested minors.
- The parents of minors at the age of criminal liability, that have committed offences and have been arrested, will have to come to the police station in order to sign the terms of release and bail.
- If the parents refuse to come to the police station or if it has been decided in court to release the minors, the youth court is to be instructed that the release be conditional only if a parent or guardian signs the conditions of the bail.
- If the parents refuse to sign the conditional release and to post bail, thus delaying the release of their child, the youth court is to be instructed to summon the parents to a court appearance, according to paragraph 19 of the Youth Law (judging, punishment and treatment) 1971, in the hope that summoning will assist in obtaining their agreement to fulfill the terms to release their child.
- If the court denies the police supplication and the police consider the denial erroneous they will ask the attorney’s office to file an appeal and the attorney will be inclined to agree to the request in the spirit of what has been said.
- If a minor has been tried and convicted of the allegations against him/her it is to be requested of the court that they instruct the minor and the parents to take responsibility, with or without placing a bond, for the future behavior of the minor. Furthermore a fine may be requested as well as legal expenses and/or compensation to a person whose property has been damaged during the committed offence, as detailed in the youth law (judging, punishment and treatment) 1971.
C. Identifying detained and arrested minors (of the age of criminal liability).
- As a rule the issue is to be addressed in accordance with directives given on the subject of identification of detained and arrested persons as was written in a related document on the subject. What is written here is meant to clarify certain details pertaining to minors.
- Identification of minors will be done, as a rule, by the parent of the minor in such a way that will allow reasonable certainty of the identification (such as by showing identifying papers, giving descriptions etc.).
- The police must inform the minors’ parents – if enough details have been given to find them – of the minors’ presence at the station and request their presence to complete the identification process and/or their release.
- Arrested minors (of the age of criminal liability) who refuse to identify themselves:
a. In all cases of the arrest of an unidentified minor refusing to be identified, when it is clear the minor is above the age of 12, a parole officer is to be summoned (through the district parole officer) to arrive within 24 -48 hours of the arrest, in order to speak to the minor, check his condition and try to persuade him/her to give proper identification. If the parole officer perceives that the minor is in need of a social worker one will be called. If the minor is in some sort of distress (depression, refusing to eat etc…) the police will alert the social worker immediately (through the district social worker).
b. No indictment is to be served against a minor. Instead the police is to request an extension of the arrest period and continue attempting to identify the minor. If the minor has not been identified after a substantial period of time from the day of the arrest, and enough evidence has been accumulated against him/her, an indictment may be served along with a request to keep the minor in custody until the end of the proceedings or until such a time as the minor satisfactorily identifies him/herself.
c. When unidentified minors, as described above, are brought before the court to prolong their custody, the court is asked to explain to them that since they have been brought to court they must respect the proceedings and respond to the court as they are requested to, this includes identifying themselves for the procedures.
d. If they don’t identify themselves the court will be asked to clarify to them that withholding their identity is in itself cause for their continued detainment.
e. Furthermore the court will be requested to clarify to the minors that they are required under the law to cooperate with all measures that are being taken to discover their identity and lack of cooperation is an ongoing criminal offence.
f. These statements and clarifications may also be made by the police, however it is possible that when handed over by the court it will help persuade the minors to identify themselves.
g. As a rule, parents will be allowed, on request, to enter the detention area of the minors in order to facilitate the identification of their children.
h. If the minor identifies him/herself he/she will be treated in accordance to what was written in paragraph 2(B) as pertaining to the involvement of the parents.
D. Conditions for holding arrested minors:
- In accordance to paragraph 13 of the youth law (judging, punishment and treatment) 1971, arrested minors will be held in a separate wing from the adults and only in extreme cases, may minors, being detained for investigation, be kept in a wing with adults and that, only if they are kept in separate cells and kept strictly apart from the adults, during walks, synagogue etc… Arrested minors that have already been charged will be held in any case in a separate wing.
- In the matter of holding minors with adults, in the context of opposition to the disengagement and in accordance with the Disengagement Law, 2005, see the paragraph 3.
- As often as possible arrested people that haven’t been charged will be kept in separate cells from those that have already been charged.
- Detainees that have not been charged may not speak on the phone unless given permission to do so from the officer in charge of the investigation or from the court, as is accepted with all uncharged detainees.
- In the matter of unidentified detainees who refuse to disclose their identity see above section C.
E. Parents and minors who endanger minors by participating in acts of opposition to the security forces.
- If during a demonstration or while resisting evacuation, a parent or guardian are seen to be putting their children (adolescents, toddlers or babies) in danger or using them to avoid arrest, evacuation or questioning, that parent/guardian will be investigated for being irresponsible in their duty to protect their children.
- Any person seen holding a baby or toddler will be seen as the minors guardian in respect to this directive.
- If enough evidence is collected the case will be taken to trial.
F. Minors under the age of criminal liability involved in criminal acts:
- When it is clear that the case is a minor under the age of criminal liability whose identity is known:
a. The minor is not to be taken to the police station, arrested or detained.
b. The information about the offence and the details of the minor are to be passed to a social worker to continue treatment of the case.
c. The minor’s parents must be contacted and informed of the actions of their child and of the fact that the details have been passed on to the social worker who will continue treatment of the matter.
d. When the issue is a serious crime or a repeated offence the social worker will treat the case as he would with any similar case.
e. In the first stage the court will be requested to instruct the minor and parent/guardian in the manner of caring for and supervising the youth as the social worker sees fit. Furthermore the court will be asked to demand a bond to insure that the court order is fulfilled and that the minor will not repeat the offence.
f. If the court order is seen not to be fulfilled and it turns out that the guardian is not preventing (perhaps even encouraging) involvement in criminal offences the social worker will consider appealing to the court for more severe directives and will consider liquidating the bond.
- When it is clearly a minor under the age of criminal liability whose identity is not known and cannot be discovered immediately:
a. The minor will be taken to the police station, even against his/her will in order to discern his identity and will be passed on to the care of a social worker.
b. If the identity cannot be discerned a social worker will be called to care for the youth and attempt to discover his identity and facilitate a hasty release of the minor.
c. If within 3 hours of arriving at the station no identification has been made the minor will be transferred entirely to the care of a social worker.
d. If the identification of the youth was disclosed it will be treated according to what has been stated above.
- If there is doubt due to the appearance as to the age of the minor and the identity is not known and cannot be discovered immediately:(/LI>
a. The minor will be taken to the station so that the police may try and discern his/her identity and so that he may be investigated. If the identity and age of the youth have not been discovered he/she will be treated as though he/she were over the age of criminal liability in all matters.
b. If it should be discovered that the youth is under the age of criminal liability he/she must be treated accordingly as was stated previously in this document.
c. If the identity cannot be discerned a social worker will be called to care for the youth and attempt to discover the identity and speed along the release of the minor.
d. If the identity of the youth has not been discerned within 3 hours of being detained and there is cause for an arrest, the youth may be arrested.
e. If within 12 hours of his/her detention the youth’s identity is still unknown and there is cause to extend the detention period the minor must be brought before a judge to extend the detention until an identification can be made so that the investigation and further judicial actions may continue, if indeed the youth is above the age of criminal liability. If it is not possible to bring the minor before a judge within 12 hours of the arrest due to "irregular circumstances" the youth may be detained for another 12 hours.
f. If the minor is found to be above the age of criminal liability he/she will be treated according to the procedures and directives which the situation demands.
- These directions were given by the welfare office and social workers have been instructed in the spirit of all that was written here.
G. Young children that arrive at the police station with a parent or guardian that have been arrested.
- The parent is to be allowed immediate access to a phone to contact another parent or guardian to come and take the child.
- If the arrested parent refuses this option all efforts are to be made by the police to contact the said parties so that they may come and take the child. If the option is a guardian and not a parent, the child can only be transferred with the parent’s consent.
- If the police were unable to track down a guardian or parent a social worker will be summoned to take custody of the children, regardless of the parents consent, and to try to convince the parent to arrive at an agreement of guardianship for the children.
- Under no circumstance is a parent to be placed in a holding cell with his/her young children nor is the parent to be separated from the children without the consent of a parent or the intervention of a social worker.
- If none of the above is possible due to irregular events, the officer in charge is to contact the district youth officer for directions.
Directives for investigating and prosecuting minors involved in demonstrations and mass act of opposition to the disengagement
A. Basic assumptions for the directives dealing with minors:
- Many youths are expected to be involved in anti-disengagement and anit-evacuation activities, either as active demonstrators or as children accompanying their parents and thus being involved in these activities to varying degrees.
- The treatment of minors will be with full coordination of welfare and educational bodies.
- The expected scenarios will not allow action within the special regulations for minors due to the massive amount of minors expected to participate in the demonstrations and acts of opposition.
B. Directives for the treatment of minors.
Detention for investigation policy:
a. Minors over the age of criminal liability (12):
i. As a rule the authority to arrest or detain a minor will fall under the same directives that were decided for adults committing a serious offence and giving cause for arrests stipulated by the law. This will be tendered with the sensitivity due to minors.
ii. A distinction must also be drawn between minors committing a serious offence as part of a youth organization, in which case a strict enforcement policy will be taken, including the use of arresting the minors, and minors involved in serious offences along with their parents, in which case the parent will be arrested as a first measure and the minor only if he/she continues the offence or if the minor was the main instigator.
b. Minors under the age of criminal liability:
i. There is no sanction given to arresting minors under the age of 12 for offences they have committed.
ii. With that however when there is no other option, reasonable force may be used to distance the minors from the evacuation area, however an attempt should be made at all times not to use force. If in fact force is needed to evacuate the children all attempts must be made to keep them with their parents.
iii. On the occurrence that a child is left without his/her parents, due to arrest of the parents, participation in youth organizations without parental supervision etc., the child will be transferred to a social worker for continued care and return to his/her family.