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Israel sentences 14-year-old Palestinian boy to two months in prison

Abdullah Obaid handed himself to Israeli authorities after being accused of throwing stones at police
Abdullah Obaid, 14, hugs his mother farewell before handing himself to an Israeli detention centre in West Jerusalem, 16 March 2021 (Screengrab)

An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced a 14-year-old Palestinian boy from occupied East Jerusalem to two months in prison for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli police, his family has told Middle East Eye.

Abdullah Obaid, from the town of Issawiya, bid farewell to his family before turning himself in to Israeli authorities at the Moscovia Detention Centre in West Jerusalem.

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Abdullah’s mother told MEE that this was the third time in less than six months that her son had faced an Israeli detention sentence or house arrest.

Residents of Issawiya have for years been subject to regular raids and arrests by the Israeli army and police, with homes in the town regularly demolished. In June 2019, a member of the Obaid family was killed during clashes with Israeli forces raiding the area. 

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported in 2019 that Israeli police activities in Issawiya were aimed at deliberately bullying and provoking Palestinian residents of the town.

Abdullah's previous arrest had been in November, when he spent four days being investigated by Israel’s internal intelligence, Shin Bet, in Abu Ghoneim police station near Bethlehem. He paid a bail of 1,000 shekels ($303) and was ordered to spend 10 days under house arrest. 

He was then notified that his house arrest would be extended by a further five months, ending in March, and was called to spend five days under investigation in the Moscovia Detention Centre. 

Toughest moment

“We are suffering from Israeli occupation. On a daily basis, Israeli forces raid and search houses, shoot rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades, spray skunk water, provoking women, children, youth and elderly residents, which leads them to react," Abdullah’s mother told MEE.

"My son was accused of throwing stones at a police vehicle and smashing its glass while it was raiding the neighbourhood."

She said that it was painful to bid farewell to her son before handing him to Israeli police on Tuesday.

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“This was the toughest moment I have been through,” she said. 

Amjad Abu Asab, president of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners, told MEE that tens of Palestinian children in the Old City, Issawiya, Silwan and Mount of Olives had been detained by Israeli authorities, before being released under house arrest.

“Those children were faced with lengthy interrogations to pressure them to make confessions… There are 25 Palestinian prisoners under 18 from East Jerusalem who are held in Ofek prison with Israeli juvenile criminals to intimidate those young Palestinians and scare them,” Abu Asad told MEE.

According to Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer, 4,400 Palestinians were being detained by Israel as of January, including 37 women and 160 children.

The Obaids are one of the largest families in the town, which lies on the eastern slopes of Jerusalem. The main entrance of the town was historically near the Hebrew University but was closed off by Israeli authorities during the 2000-2005 Second Intifada. Now only pedestrians can pass through there.

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