In violation of international law, the Israeli prison system deliberately fails to provide Palestinian prisoners, including children, with basic essentials such as food and hygiene products. Not only are such policies designed to break the spirit of the imprisoned and their families – they also intend to ruin them financially.
This is the story of the Hares Boys – five teenagers who’ve been tortured in an Israeli prison on fabricated charges. Their families struggle to deal with the financial burden associated with having their sons illegally imprisoned. Your contribution can help them lessen this burden and by doing so, fight for justice, human rights, and the boys’ freedom.
The army stormed the village of Hares in the middle of the night in mid-March 2013. Blindfolded and handcuffed, it was the last time the five teenage school friends – now known as the Hares Boys – were allowed to hug their mothers. In violation of international law, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, they’ve been held in an Israeli adult prison ever since.
The boys were arrested following a car accident on a road close to their village that involved a settler and her 3 small children. They were accused of causing the accident by stone-throwing; they deny any involvement but were forced to sign ‘confessions’ after being subjected to continuous abuse, violent interrogations, beatings, and solitary confinement for up to 3 weeks. International law has a name for such treatment: it’s torture.
The boys are being charged with 20 counts of attempted murder (one for each stone allegedly thrown at passing cars), with no evidence and no real eye-witnesses whatsoever. They are facing 25 years to life imprisonment in the Israeli military court system that convicts Palestinian children at a rate of 99.7%.
Apart from the immense emotional pain, having a family member imprisoned also puts a heavy financial burden on the family. As reported widely by local and international human rights organisations, the Israeli Prison Service is pursuing a deliberate policy of neglecting its obligations to provide for prisoners’ basic needs. The low quantity and quality of food provided in the prison means that in order to have enough nutrition, the boys have to buy over-priced products in the prison canteen; the same applies to hygiene products, such as toothpaste or soap. The families are only allowed to bring their sons a small package of clothes twice a year – in May and November. Specific requirements apply: no pockets, and only brown, black, red, and white colour clothes. Other clothing and footwear has to be bought in the prison at high prices. Additionally, the families have to pay the travel expenses for court hearings and prison visits. The Hares Boys are currently incarcerated in Megiddo, an adult prison outside the West Bank; transferring prisoners from occupied territory to that of the occupier violates the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Hares Boys – Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Tamer Souf, Ammar Souf, and Ali Shamlawi – are now 16-17 years old. If the Israeli military get their way, the boys would only return to their homes and families at the age of 41 – at best. If justice prevails, however, they will be home soon.
Until the boys get their freedom, your financial contribution will help their families to deal with the high costs of having their loved ones taken away from them.
You can also help put pressure on the Israeli military court system to apply principles of justice rather than condemn the boys to spend their lives in prison for a crime that never happened: sign the petition to Free the Hares Boys and spread the word about their case. By supporting the campaign for the Hares Boys, you are also helping to raise international awareness about the plight of the hundreds of Palestinian children prosecuted in Israeli military courts every year.
You can contact us: haresboys [at] gmail.com (or send us a message from this page).
THE MONEY WILL BE USED FOR…
2,000 Euros –Equally shared (2,000=5×400) by the five boys’ families to help cover the costs associated with having their sons imprisoned, i.e. travel expenses for prison visits, clothes, food, medicine, hygiene products in the prison, pocket money.
Any surplus raised will be equally shared by the boys’ families.