AN ISRAELI court has handed down a ten-year prison sentence to a 17-year-old Palestinian boy after accusing him of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the occupied al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Palestinian media reports said that the Israeli central court also imposed a fine of 170,000 shekels ($55,000) against 17-year-old Mohammed Sabbah on Wednesday.
Sabbah was detained after being shot and critically wounded by Israeli forces on October 28, 2019. He was held at Ramla prison hospital for six months, where he underwent several medical surgeries. He is currently held in Megiddo prison.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Centre for Studies (PCBS) said in a report in September that Israeli authorities had clearly escalated the targeting of Palestinian children in the current year.
The aim is to deter Palestinian minors from resisting the Israeli occupation, ruin their educational opportunities, destroy their future and create a weak and cowardly generation, the PCBS said.
Israeli forces have arrested about 1,200 Palestinian minors across the occupied West Bank, including the Old City of al-Quds, and the besieged Gaza Strip so far this year.
There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of the so-called administrative detention.
Israeli prison authorities keep Palestinian inmates under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygiene standards. Palestinian prisoners have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression.
The Israeli parliament has already approved a law that allows prison officials to force-feed hunger strikers. The law has sparked criticism from rights groups who regard it as a disrespect of the detainees’ rights.
Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a ‘bankrupt tactic’ and have long called on the regime to bring the practice to an end.
Israel has been emboldened by the unconditional support of consecutive US administrations over the past few years. The Israeli military regularly opens fire on Palestinians, accusing them of seeking to stab its troops.
Human rights groups have repeatedly slammed Tel Aviv for its shoot-to-kill policy as a large number of Palestinians killed in such incidents did not pose any serious threat to Israelis.
On Thursday, the Palestinian Information Centre said Israeli forces had abducted at least 21 Palestinians during a series of separate overnight raids across the occupied territories.
Citing local sources, the centre said Israeli forces detained at least four Palestinians in Surif town, northwest of al-Khalil (Hebron), early Thursday.
The kidnapped Palestinians were identified as Ahmed Ghunaimat, Khaled Ghunaimat, Ali Ghunaimat, and Musab al-Hoar.
Four more young men were forcibly abducted after Israeli soldiers broke into a number of homes in the West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin as well as Asira al-Qibliya village.
Israel’s undercover agents also kidnapped a former Palestinian detainee from his home in Tubas City and took him away to an unknown location.
Over a dozen Palestinians were also kidnapped after Israeli police stormed various neighbourhoods across East al-Quds and the nearby Qalandia refugee camp.
Local residents and witnesses said Israeli forces violently searched houses, causing excessive property damage before detaining the Palestinians.
On Wednesday evening, Israeli forces kidnapped a Palestinian passenger at the Beit Hanoun (Erez) border crossing in the north of the besieged Gaza Strip.
The detained passenger, identified as Hasan Abu Mustafa from Khan Yunis, was trying to get approval for travel with his sick wife to the occupied territories.
The Israeli military frequently carries out wide-ranging kidnapping campaigns across the West Bank under the pretext of searching for ‘wanted’ Palestinians.
In recent months, Israeli forces have intensified their crackdown on Palestinians by raiding their homes and putting them behind bars.
Thousands of Palestinians are held in Israeli jails without clear charges.
Israeli settlers, mostly armed, regularly attack Palestinian villages and farms and set fire to mosques, olive groves and other properties in the West Bank under the so-called ‘price tag’ policy. However, Tel Aviv rarely detains the assailants.
Meanwhile the Israeli regime has given initial approval for the construction of as many as 3,000 illegal settler units in the occupied holy city of al-Quds.
The approval was given by the Tel Aviv-appointed so-called ‘municipality’ for al-Quds on Wednesday.
The specific construction site was named as an area that used to house an airport near the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
The plan, which requires further stages of approval, is for 3,000 homes to be built, with a view to adding another 6,000 eventually.
‘This settlement plan aims to conclude the separation’ of al-Quds ‘from our outlying Palestinian area … in a bid to Israelise it, Judaise it, and annex it,’ the Ramallah-headquartered Palestinian Authority’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The Israeli regime occupied the western part of the holy city, which contains the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest site, in 1948. In 1967, it overran its eastern quarter that Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
In order to cement its claim over the occupied territories, the regime has been incessantly building up hundreds of settlements there that have come to house hundreds of thousands of Israelis.
The international community views the structures as illegal due to their construction on occupied territory.
The Palestinian ministry urged world powers ‘to immediately intervene to stop these colonial projects and plans.’
- Israeli settlers yesterday erected a huge menorah (candelabrum with eight branches used for Jewish worship during Hanukkah)) on the roof of a historical mosque in the village of Nabi Samwil, northwest of Jerusalem.
Anas Obeid, a resident of the village, said that settlers, accompanied by staff of settlement organisations, set up a huge menorah on the village mosque purportedly to celebrate the Jewish feast Hanukkah.
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, Hussam Abu al-Rub, condemned the settler move as an ‘infringement upon the sanctity’ of the site, as he stressed his rejection of any Israeli interference in the affairs of Islamic holy sites across Palestine.
He explained that the occupation authorities aim, through these measures, to appropriate the site and obliterate its Islamic features.
Nabi Samwel, also written as al-Nabi Samwil, overlooks occupied East Jerusalem on one side and Ramallah on the other. With approximately 300 people in no more than a dozen houses, the village is located in the ‘seam zone’ — an area separated from the rest of the occupied West Bank by Israel’s apartheid wall, as reported by the online news website Electronic Intifada.
The residents of Nabi Samwil are flanked by colonial settlements, the wall and by an Israeli park that is encroaching onto their land.
The national park comprises an archaeological site, which includes the tomb of the Prophet Samuel, an important religious figure for Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. The tomb is surmounted by a mosque which Palestinians can only access on Fridays. It can be closed at any moment to let Israeli settlers access the tomb.
The inhabitants are considered West Bank residents and even though they are on Jerusalem’s side of the wall, they are only allowed to go to the nearest West Bank city, Ramallah, for necessary activities such as buying food or accessing medical care.