Israel releases 13-year-old Palestinian boy after 2-day detention

12:00 Sep 20 2016 Ofer Prison

Israel releases 13-year-old Palestinian boy after 2-day detention
Ofer Prison. File photo. Published by Maan News

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israel's military court at Ofer prison decided to release 13-year-old Muhammad Ahmad Youssef Maharmeh on Tuesday, after detaining him on Sunday from an Israeli military site near the occupied West Bank city of Jericho for allegedly being in possession of Molotov cocktails and a knife.

A statement from the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) quoted one of their lawyers, Ahmad Safiyyeh, as saying that Muhammad was released on the condition of paying a fine of 5,000 shekels ($1,323) imposed by the court, originally set at 10 shekels, in addition to a fine of 7,000 shekels ($1,852) on his family, as well as imposing a suspended sentence of six months within a five-year period on the boy.

Ma'an initially reported on Sunday that Israeli forces had detained a 12-year-old Palestinian boy in Jericho, with no further details of his identity.
Israeli news site Ynet reported at the time that Israeli border police searched the boy near an Israeli military site, and found a knife and two Molotov cocktails in his possession. The boy was then detained and taken in for questioning.

Muhammad was also reportedly carrying a Palestinian flag.
Israeli forces have detained a number of Palestinians for allegedly being in possession of knives in recent months following a spate of attacks by Palestinians which has left some 32 Israelis dead since October.

In the same time period, 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, scores of which have been killed at checkpoints during alleged attacks against Israeli soldiers.

While Israel claims many of those were attempting to attack Israelis when they were shot, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

The incident came amid a spike in violence in the occupied Palestinian territory that has left seven Palestinians and one Jordanian shot dead by Israeli forces and two Palestinians seriously injured while allegedly attempting to carry out attacks.

Ahmad's release comes after the mayor of the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Kamel Hameid, said on Tuesday that Palestinian security forces have recently detained an unspecified number Palestinians suspected of being hired by Israel to “escalate violence," amid the uptick in Palestinian deaths in recent days.

Hameid told reporters at a press conference: “Our reports indicate that Israeli forces provoke Palestinian children and incite them to carry knifes. Israeli soldiers keep asking Palestinian children at checkpoints, ‘Where are your knifes? Why aren’t you carrying knifes?’"

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of August, 340 of whom were minors.
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