Palestinian Girl, 12, Charged With Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter After Being Caught With Knife

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A screenshot from a Channel 1 video showing the girl being restrained by an Israeli settler.
A screenshot from a Channel 1 video showing the girl being restrained by an Israeli settler. Credit: Screenshot

An indictment was filed on Sunday by the military prosecutor against a 12-year-old girl from the Palestinian West Bank town of Halhul who allegedly went to the entrance of the settlement of Karmei Tzur with a knife saying that she wanted to kill Jews.

The girl, who is accused of attempted voluntary manslaughter, was released by the court to a locked children's facility in Bethlehem, but the state is appealing the order.

The girl went to the entrance to the settlement north of Hebron on Tuesday of last week with a knife concealed under her shirt. A local resident, Amos-Shimon Hacohen, spotted her and ordered her to lie on the ground and remove the knife. He reportedly restrained her until security forces arrived. As can be seen in a video clip of the incident shown on Channel 1, Hacohen asked the girl if she came to the settlement to kill Jews, to which she replied that this was her intention.

According to Israeli law, minors under the age of 14 cannot be jailed. In the territories, however, the army routinely objects to any alternate form of arrest, or youth rehabilitation, for minors suspected in security-related offences. The girl was handed over to the police, and was interrogated twice in one day. In her remand hearing, the police representative asked for her arrest to be extended by six days, but the military court judge only extended it by one day.

"This is a little girl, aged 12 and two months. The court has seen how frail she is, and the expression of fear on her face, but these are not enough to rule out the danger she poses, since we're discussing a very serious offence that the minor allegedly tried to perpetrate, and without any trepidation." 

The next day, police again requested for a six-day extension of the arrest. The military judge again noted that the offense was a serious one, and ordered the arrest extended by four days. After the indictment was filed, the judge ordered the girl released to a locked children's facility in Bethlehem. The state will appeal the decision.  

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