Palestinian child prisoners: Manasrah to face sentencing hearing; 12-year-old prisoner in court

seamac-ad-childprisoner2An Israeli court in Jerusalem held a hearing in the case of Shadi Farrah, 12, and his friend, Ahmad Zaatari, 13, on Sunday, 10 July.

Shadi and Ahmad were seized from their village of Kafr Aqab by Israeli occupation forces on 29 December 2015. They were accused of possessing a knife, allegedly found while they were being searched, and later of intent to murder, due to their possession of the knife.

More than seven sessions of the court have been convened for Shadi and Ahmad, which have been continued to the future for the completion of judicial proceedings. Both are held in juvenile institutions because of their young age. Their parents have expressed their deep concern for the psychological, education and physical impacts on their young children, who have already been mistreated by occupation forces. Both were interrogated without their parents or lawyers, in violation of international law and even Israeli law.

Held in Israeli juvenile centers, at times distant from their families, making visitation difficult and costly, are other Palestinian youth prisoners from Jerusalem: Mohammed Houshia, born 4 April 2005; Ali Alqam, born 2 December 2003; Shadi Farrah, born 5 November 2003; Ahmad Zaatari, born 8 April 2003; Mohammed Abdel Razek, born 4 January 2002; Ahmad Abu Khalifa, born 2 July 2001; Ahmad Manasrah; Adam Sub Laban; and Burhan Abu Shak.

Ahmad Manasrah, 14, will likely have a sentencing hearing on Monday, 11 July, although it may be delayed, reported his lawyer, Tariq Barghouth. Manasrah’s case, where he was convicted of participating in stabbing of Israeli settlers, has drawn international attention due to the videotape of him being abused and degraded by Israeli soldiers and settlers while bleeding on the ground after being hit by a car; his cousin, Hassan Manasrah, 15, was killed.  Manasrah is threatened with a life sentence in Israeli prisons at the age of 14.

There are over 330 Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel, including 18 injured and sick children.

Seven Palestinian teens are currently held without charge or trial under administrative detention, reported Defence for Children International.