For First Time, 3 East Jerusalem Minors Imprisoned Without Trial

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Palestinian youths throw stones at the police during clashes in East Jerusalem, October 4, 2015. Credit: Reuters

Three Palestinian minors from Jerusalem were imprisoned for three months without trial this week. As far as is known, this is the first time minors who are Israeli citizens or residents have been placed in administrative detention.

More than 10 adults – all of them Palestinians from Jerusalem – were also imprisoned for three to six months without trial this week. One of the detainees is the father of the Palestinian who carried out a terror attack in Tel Aviv earlier this month that left five Israelis wounded. Two courts instructed the police to release the father from prison, before he was then placed in administrative detention.

Detaining minors from the West Bank without trial is also considered highly irregular and has only been done twice before, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said on Wednesday.

The three jailed minors are all aged 17 and from East Jerusalem: two are from Silwan and the other is from Jabal Mukkaber.

The minors’ attorney, Mohammad Mahmoud, of the Palestinian prisoner support and human rights association Addameer, said none of the three had a criminal record or had been arrested before.

The three minors were questioned, among other things, about Facebook posts they had written. They have been questioned in the past for disrupting public order, but no charges were brought against them.

One of the adult prisoners is Abed Abu Ghazaleh, a resident of Jerusalem’s Old City and the father of Thaer Abu Ghazaleh, The latter stabbed five Israelis with a screwdriver in Tel Aviv on October 9, before being shot and killed by an Israel Defense Forces soldier. Abed Abu Ghazaleh protested when the authorities refused to return his son’s body to the family and was arrested shortly afterward.

Abed Abu Ghazaleh has no criminal record and Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered the police to release him. The state appealed the decision at the district court, but that court rejected the appeal. Abed Abu Ghazaleh was then summoned for interrogation, during which he was told an administrative detention order had been issued against him.

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