Palestinian child prisoners face medical neglect, harsh interrogation, lengthy sentences

Palestinian child prisoners continue to face severe repression at the hands of the Israeli occupation. There are over 350 child prisoners held in Israeli jails, and there has been an escalation in the length of the sentences and the young age of Palestinian prisoners since the beginning of the Palestinian popular uprising in October 2015.

Osama Zeidat, 14, is the youngest wounded prisoner in Israeli prisons. He was shot in the foot, back, and leg by Israeli occupation soldiers on 23 September. Accused of trying to attack settlers in the Kiryat Arba colonial settlement, Osama was in fact the victim of an attack, the only person injured as he was shot in the back by occupation soldiers. He is held in very difficult conditions with the most injured and ill prisoners in the Ramleh prison clinic. Osama’s foot is painfully swollen and he continues to have a 5cm bullet injury. A metal implant was inserted in his foot, causing him further pain and making it difficult for him to move.

The 14-year-old boy from the village of Bani Naim near al-Khalil was held in Shaare Tzedek hospital for 18 days and while undergoing several operations, was denied family visits. He was brought to an Israeli military court on 1 November shackled to a hospital bed, and later not brought to his hearings after Israeli forces said that there was no ambulance available to transport him. His family has demanded the release of their child, which has been repeatedly denied by the Israeli military courts.

Osama has continued to suffer from pain and severe effects of his injury. His family have urged that he receive appropriate medical treatment so he can be transferred to the Ofer prison with fellow children or more appropriately, be released.

In addition, 13-year-old Palestinian boy Samer Raja Daraghmeh remains imprisoned and held under interrogation. Despite an initial order to release him on Tuesday, he was ordered returned to prison for further interrogation without any clear charge attributed to him. He was seized by occupation forces on Monday, 12 December as he left his school to return to his village of Laban, near Nablus.  Samer also suffers from a difficult health condition after a traffic accident one year ago in which he suffered a head injury and damage to his kidneys and liver.

Following on a long line of lengthy sentences handed out to Palestinian children, particularly from Jerusalem, Akram Tawfiq Abu Sarhan, 17, from Jabal al-Mukabber in Jerusalem, was ordered to nine years in Israeli prison on Wednesday, 14 December. Accused of possession of a knife with the intention to carry out a resistance operation, Akram was also fined 10,000 NIS ($2500 USD).  This harsh sentence was imposed despite the fact