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Palestinian girl, 14, jailed for throwing stones Open in fullscreen

Riya al-Sanah

Palestinian girl, 14, jailed for throwing stones

There are about 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails (AFP)

Date of publication: 22 January, 2015

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Malak al-Khatib sentenced in Israeli military court to two months' jail for throwing stones and possessing a knife, making her one of youngest Palestinians held by Israel.
A 14-year-old Palestinian girl has been jailed by an Israeli court for two months after being found guilty of throwing stones at soldiers and possessing a knife.

Malak al-Khatib, from Betin, near Ramallah, is among the youngest Palestinians jailed by Israel after she was sentenced on 19 January. She was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine.

Malak's case began 19 days earlier, when she was arrested, blindfolded and handcuffed near her school on 31 December and interrogated without adult representation.

She was brought before an Israeli court five times before being sentenced. Malak's father told the Palestinian Information Centre that his daughter's health was worsening due to the extreme cold in Hasharon prison.

Malak is one of about 180 Palestinian minors currently held in Israeli jails. Nineteen of between 14-16, according to Addamer, a prisoner support and human rights group.

Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's committee on prisoners, said 10,000 Palestinian minors from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have been arrested by the Israeli army and police since the year 2000.
     Malak was arrested, blindfolded and handcuffed near her school on 31 December and interrogated without adult representation.

DCI-Palestine statistics show that in 2014 the average number of children held in Israeli military custory stood at 197 per month, and in 2013, 199 children were held each month. The mass majority of those arrested were charged with stone throwing.

Under Israeli law, child stone-throwers can be sentenced to 20 years in jail, which is also the longest possible sentence for manslaughter.

A report by the human rights group, the Defence for Children International-Palestine, says 96 percent of Palestinian children arrested by Israel are interrogated without adult representation.

The report also criticised Israeli authorities for failing to inform Palestinian children of their rights, or about self-incrimination.

According to DCI-Palestine, 75 percent of Palestinian children arrested in 2014 were subjected to physical assaults during interrogation and detention.

This was reinforced by a 2014 report by Unicef, where serious violations of the UN's Convention of the Rights of a Child were documented.

According to the report, abuses appear to be "widespread, systematic and institutionalised throughout the process" from "the moment of the arrest until the child's prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing".

The assaults listed included solitary confinement, strangulation, threats of physical assault and, in rare occasions, sexual violence.

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