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House Bill Would Withhold Military Aid To Israel Over Detention Of Palestinian Children

(JTA) — Rep. Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat, has introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would withhold funding from Israel over its detention of Palestinian children.

The bill  establishes the Human Rights Monitoring and Palestinian Child Victims of Israeli Military Detention Fund, authorizing $19 million annually for nongovernmental organizations to monitor human rights abuses associated with Israel’s military detention of children.

“Israel’s system of military juvenile detention is state-sponsored child abuse designed to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian children and their families,” McCollum said in a statement. “It must be condemned, but it is equally outrageous that U.S. tax dollars in the form of military aid to Israel are permitted to sustain what is clearly a gross human rights violation against children.”

More than 10,000 Palestinian children have been arrested, detained, abused and prosecuted by Israeli security forces in the Israeli military court system since 2000, McCollum’s statement said, citing monitoring groups such as Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., last month praised McCollum for her previous efforts to limit aid to Israel during an interview when she said that cutting military and economic aid to Israel “is certainly on the table.”

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