JERUSALEM (AFP) - Police in Jerusalem are systematically breaking the law by arresting stone-throwing children at night and interrogating them without their parents being present, an Israeli rights group said Monday. BTselem said police were regularly violating Israeli law in their treatment of minors in the occupied east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan, where tensions between settlers and Palestinians run high. Confrontations in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood often involve stone-throwing by young Palestinians, and BTselem said at least 81 minors had been arrested between November 2009 and October 2010, most accused of throwing stones. The Jerusalem Police systematically violates the law, primarily the Youth Law, which grants minors special rights in criminal matters and prohibits, as a rule, interrogation of minors at night, the group said. The report accused police of taking the minors from their beds and rushing them to interrogation... in most cases in order to obtain information on incidents that occurred a few days earlier. It also said police interrogators illegally prevented parents from attending the questioning of their children, and said many minors complained of violent treatment during their arrests, but investigations were rare and never resulted in disciplinary action. BTselem said it had documented the detention of at least four children younger than 12, the age of criminal responsibility in Israel, meaning they are not subject to criminal proceedings. In one case, an eight-year old was detained in the middle of the night only because his name was identical to that of another child who was suspected of throwing stones, the group said. BTselem called on police to immediately end such arrests and interrogations and instead emphasise options for the rehabilitation of the minors and for preventing injury to them. The police conducted these arrests in a harmful manner, which reflects disregard of the rights and needs of the child suspects and may have serious consequences on their future development, the report said. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld denied the BTselem allegations and said arrests were carried out according to the law. The large majority of those suspects that were questioned and arrested admitted to being involved in violence, he told AFP. Rosenfeld acknowledged parents were not always present during questioning their children, but said the interrogations were monitored over closed-circuit television and parents always escorted their children to the police station. He said night arrests were made only when operational intelligence suggested the suspect would best be apprehended at night, and denied allegations police were violent during the arrest of minors. Rosenfeld also blamed the local community for failing to provide their children with alternatives to stone-throwing. There is a huge gap in the responsibility that the parents as well as the leaders of the community are taking on themselves, he said. The leaders of those communities have to set up social activities in order to prevent those teenagers from being on the street and ending up with a criminal record. In November, a group of 60 Israeli professionals who work with children expressed concern about the arrests of minors in Silwan in a letter sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The letter accused Israeli police of flagrant violations of the law over their arrests and interrogations of Palestinian children.