Concern grows for Palestinian teenager held by Israel

Concern grows for Palestinian teenager held by Israel
2 min read
Amal Nakhleh has been held in administrative detention, without charge, for a year, after being arrested for allegedly throwing stones at soldiers.
Amal Nakhleh has been held for a year in administrative detention [Getty]

Palestinian teenager Amal Nakhleh's first name means "hope" in Arabic, but his parents are in despair because he is chronically ill and one of the few minors held without charge by Israel. 

"Since his arrest last year I have only seen him twice, including last week when he told me he wanted to go on hunger strike," journalist Moammar Nakhleh said of his 17-year-old son. 

"This scares me because he is already very weak," from myasthenia, a rare neuromuscular disease, and underwent surgery in 2020 to have a tumour removed from his rib cage, Nakhleh said.

Israeli authorities accuse Amal of "throwing stones" at occupying forces and have held him for a year in administrative detention. The controversial practice allows for alleged suspects to be detained without charge for renewable six-month terms while "investigations" are ongoing.

Amal faces a new hearing Monday, and his father is worried that his detention could be renewed.

Administrative detention has been criticised by the Palestinians, human rights groups and foreign governments, who charge that Israel abuses it.

Perspectives

Israel defends the practice, saying that "due to the complex and volatile security situation in the West Bank, detention orders are issued against those who plan terrorist attacks, or those who orchestrate, facilitate or otherwise actively assist in the commission of such acts".

Leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz joined the fray days ago with an editorial entitled "Enough with administrative detentions".

"It's time for Israel to learn to forgo this undemocratic, corrupt practice of unlimited administrative detention, without evidence or charges that can be refuted," Haaretz said.