Palestinian child Muawiya Alqam, 14, sentenced to 6.5 years in Israeli prison


Palestinian child prisoner Muawiya Alqam, 14, was sentenced to 6.5 years in Israeli prison by a Jerusalem court on Sunday, 17 July.

He was also fined 26,000 NIS (approximately $6,700) and a three-year suspended sentence was imposed; in addition, his family was ordered to pay the fine in cash rather than installments, in a divergence from the plea agreement obtained by his lawyer.

Muawiya and his cousin Ali Alqam, 12, were arrested on 10 November 2015 and accused of attempting to stab an Israeli occupation guard on the Jerusalem light rail. Today, Ali, who was 11 at the time of arrest and turned 12 while imprisoned, is held inside a juvenile detention facility while Muawiya is held in Megiddo prison.  Ali was shot three times by Israeli forces and had to undergo surgery to remove a bullet from his stomach. He is being detained for at least one year.

Muawiya was accused of attempted murder and possession of a knife, despite the fact that the guard was only lightly wounded.

He is one of over 350 Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons, including 7 held without charge or trial under administrative detention. An increasing number of Palestinian Jerusalemite children are also being subject to house arrest, as Israeli occupation authorities also issued more than 65 home imprisonment orders against Jerusalemite children since the beginning of the year. The use of home imprisonment against children is a growing phenomenon, and prevents them from leaving the home even for medical treatment or for school.