Palestinian child imprisoned without charge or trial warns he could launch hunger strike

Palestinian child prisoner Nour Issa, 16, the youngest Palestinian imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention, is seriously considering an open hunger strike against his detention, reported Asra Voice on 3 August.

Nour was supposed to be released on 1 August, but instead, his administrative detention was renewed for an additional three months and is now set to end on 1 November 2017. He has stated to his lawyers that he will begin an open hunger strike if his administrative detention is not ended.

Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed under these orders without charge and without trial. There are currently approximately 500 Palestinians jailed under administrative detention orders out of approximately 6,200 Palestinian political prisoners in total.

The use of administrative detention is only one of the abuses being visited upon Palestinian child prisoners and their families by occupation forces. In July 2017, the Ofer military court imposed fines of 87,000 NIS ($24,000 USD) on Palestinian child prisoners under the age of 18. The previous month saw fines imposed on child prisoners of 42,000 NIS ($11,500 USD), reported the Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Commission. 36 children were brought before the Ofer military court in July, including 18 seized from their homes, 12 from the roadway and six from military checkpoints. 34 of them were sentenced from one to 40 months in Israeli occupation prisons, in addition to the heavy burden of these fines.

Other Palestinian child prisoners reported their experiences of torture and abuse behind bars in a report by the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission. For example, Yazan Abu Odeh, 14, from Ramallah, reported that he was seized by undercover Israeli armed occupation forces on 27 July near the Beit El checkpoint, when he was attacked and hit over the head with a gun before being taken to Benyamin settlement for interrogation. He was beaten and humiliated under interrogation and denied access to a lawyer and his parents, Yazan said.

Mohammed Taha, 16, said that he was seized on 21 July and was beaten by Israeli occupation soldiers who wounded his head and arm. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital for treatment and then returned to interrogation after being severely beaten by occupation forces. Wadie al-Ghoul, 17 and Ezzedine Amarneh, 17, from Yabad village in Jenin district also reported that they were subject to abuse, torture and degrading treatment during interrogation in Jalameh/Kishon before being transferred to the children’s section of Megiddo prison.