ISRAELI COURT IN JERUSALEM SENTENCES 16-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN GIRL TO 6 YEARS IN PRISON
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court on Sunday morning sentenced a teenage Palestinian girl from Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem to six years in prison after she was charged with knife possession and planning a stab attack.
Hayat Shweiki told Ma’an that the Jerusalem magistrate’s court formally sentenced her daughter Manar Majdi Shweiki to six years in prison after the girl had already spent more than a year in detention, highlighting that the court postponed the sentencing twice since the beginning of 2017.
Her lawyer Mustafa Yahya said last week
that the ruling was postponed because the court was awaiting a report regarding Shweiki’s behavior over the course of her detention, though Yahya said at the time he already reached a plea bargain with the Israeli prosecution that determined the six-year sentence.
Since her detention in December last year, Shweiki has been moved between Israel’s Ramla and HaSharon prisons.
Israeli police first detained her
on Dec. 6 in the Wadi Hilweh area of the Silwan, claiming they found a knife in her bag after searching her belongings, though it was unclear what had prompted the search in the first place.
Ma’an reported at the time that Palestinian youths filmed the search and arrest of the girl on their phones, which were later confiscated by Israeli forces, and clashes subsequently broke out in the area with one youth being injured from shrapnel after a stun grenade exploded nearby.
Two days later, Israeli authorities released Shweiki, but on Dec. 22, Israeli police detained her again on the streets of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City in the al-Sharaf neighborhood. It remained unclear what prompted forces to detain her the second time.
Her prison sentence is the latest in an Israeli crackdown on young Jerusalemite Palestinians, many of them women, who have been accused of involvement in attacks, while Israeli authorities have ordered lengthy prison sentences for Palestinians as young as 14 years old in both East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
Despite “on paper” having more rights than Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank who are subject to a draconian military detention system, in practice, Jerusalem minors “do not enjoy their enshrined rights” under a discriminatory Israeli civilian court system, according to rights group Defense for Children International – Palestine.
Last October, prisoners’ rights group Addameer reported that Israel was holding 64 female Palestinian prisoners and some 400 Palestinian minors.
Since a wave of political unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015, leading to Israeli forces carrying out mass detention campaigns, the number of Palestinian women and girls detained by Israeli forces has risen sharply.
According to Addameer, among those detained between October 2015 and August 2016 were 13 underage girls, some of whom were wounded when Israeli forces detained them.
The group has also reported on the treatment of Palestinian women prisoners by Israeli prison authorities, stating that the majority of Palestinian women detainees were subjected to “psychological torture” and “ill-treatment” by Israeli authorities, including “various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment.”