In response to the publication of the picture of 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra, the Israeli Physicians for Human Rights organization released a statement saying that the group takes a grave view of the release of a photo of Manasra, a minor, in the hospital at Hadassah University Medical Center at Ein Karem in Jerusalem.
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On Wednesday evening Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of "executing" Ahmed, even though he was still alive, and the Prime Minister's Office on Thursday released photos of Manasra in the hospital. A senior Israeli official said the move was meant to refute Abbas' claim that Manasra was executed by Israeli soldiers.
“The fact that it is a photo of a minor in custody who was photographed without his parents’ permission” is a violation of juvenile law and privacy laws, the organization said. In addition, the picture was taken at a medical facility “apparently with the approval of its management,” the organization claimed, adding that this would be a violation of medical ethics requiring maintenance of the confidentiality of medical information and respect for the patient.
“Even more disturbing, is that reportedly the instructions [to publish the photo] came directly from the office of the health minister [Yaakov Litzman] and that the picture itself was distributed by the Prime Minister’s Office,” they said.
“In addition, Physicians for Human Rights takes a grave view of the fact that the public has been briefed with details of [Manasra’s] condition while his parents are prevented from visiting him and have not been provided medical information on the condition of their son. Furthermore, one can see from the picture that Ahmed is bound to his bed, in violation of juvenile law, which bars [such] constraints on a minor,” the organization stated.
The group alleged that this was done with the cooperation of medical staff “either through their consent or their silence.” It warned against a “dangerous erosion of the rules of professionalism and medical ethics” and said, particularly during times of confrontation, it would be expected that the heads of the medical system would withstand political and public pressures in this regard.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister's Office released a video of the attack in Pisgat Ze'ev with captions in Arabic. The clip was distributed to Arab media outlets and was posted in Arabic on official social media accounts. Manasra's photos were also sent to Arab media.
Ahmed and his relative, 17-year-old Mohammed Manasra, carried out a stabbing attack in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev on Monday. The attack left two Israelis wounded: A 13-year-old boy, who was riding his bicycle was critically wounded, and a young man in his 20s, who also suffered severe wounds.