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Lawyer of Palestinian child in hospital calls video 'defamation'

Tareq Barghout, the lawyer of Ahmed Manasra says a video released by Israel is intentionally misleading
According to the lawyer, a representative of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the hospital to check up on the boy (AFP)

GAZA CITY - Tareq Barghout, the lawyer of Ahmed Manasra, 13, disputes the intentions of a video that Israel released to international media, which showed Manasra lying in an Israeli hospital while being fed and taken care of by Barghout.  

Barghout said the published video is “defamation” and claims the child, who admitted to stabbing an Israeli boy before being critically wounded by Israeli security forces, is not being treated well.

“Israeli guards claims that they are feeding him with their hands and offer him good treatment, but that’s disgusting defamation” says Barghout.

“While I was visiting, food came into his room, but he did not want to eat, and when I asked him why, he says he suffers pain in his jaws due to severe beating and because his right arm is tied to his bed,” Barghout wrote on his Facebook page.

The lawyer added that this act is meant to whitewash the crime committed, by taking video which the lawyer says is illegal according to Israeli law. 

“They are lying in a shameless way,” says Barghout.

An earlier video was circulated online showing Manasra bleeding on the ground and not being offered any medical assistance. An Israeli security guard watches over the kid and tells him to die.

The child, currently a patient at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, is officially under arrest.

Manasra’s father told international and Israeli media that his son would never commit a crime of this nature.

“My son cannot stab, he doesn't know how to hold a knife”.

According to the lawyer, a representative of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the hospital to check up on the boy.

“I have explained to [the representative] that the boy’s health conditions is not all right, as his hands are tired and he can neither eat, nor go to the toilet, and the guards are treating him in inhuman way,” says Barghout.

The lawyer also claims the guards at the hospital have spit on Manasra and that one of the guards opened Skype while talking with his girlfriend, who allegedly also insulted the child.

Israel released a video without sound that showed Barghout feeding him. His lawyer’s bar association logo appears one his tie.   

“It is obvious that this person from Prime minister office was carrying a hidden camera and you should notice that the video is without a voice,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas referred to mistreatment of Palestinians through reference Manasra’s case.

Barghout pans to visit Manasra again in the hospital - however, he says that Israel has refused to allow Manasra to go to the toilet, instead giving him diapers to relieve himself. 

“Ahmed is still resisting to not to do it in bed. Ahmed tells the guards that either I go to the toilet or I don’t want,” Barghout says

“I am a man and I don’t accept this,” recalls the lawyer what Manasra told the guards in the hospital.

Ahmed's cousin, Hassan Manasra, 15, was killed by Israeli military in the same incident. The Manasra family is calling for an independent investigation. 

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