An Israeli court found a 14-year-old Palestinian boy guilty of attempt to murder and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
Last year, in October, 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra, and his 15-year-old cousin, Hassan Manasra, ran around with knives, trying to scare Jewish settlers. An unfortunate event, that ended when Hassan was shot dead in public.
The boys attacked two Israeli settlers, both the victims survived, having sustained no serious injuries. While Hassan was shot dead, Ahmed was violently beaten up by a small mob, and was later hospitalized.
When the Palestinian community protested Hassan’s death, the Israeli investigation team released CCTV videos, and defended their action, branding the teenagers, as terrorists.
WARNING: The video below contain graphic footage.
The Israeli media, immediately resonated with the government’s stand. In The Times of Israel, the headlines read, “Terrorist teen executed by Israel.”
Instances such as these are not uncommon. Many people in the region, have had a horrifying childhood. Filled with vicious abuses from settlers, and arbitrary attacks by the Israeli military.
“Israeli authorities are currently holding 350 Palestinian children aged between 12 and 18,” said Palestinian Prisoners Society, an NGO in the region. It is reported, that more than 2,000 Palestinian minors have been detained by Israeli forces since 2015.
The United Nations – Committee Against Torture, warned Israel against their use of ‘excessive force’ on detainees, and raised concerns about violations of Geneva Convention principles, involving treatment of children.
This judgement is a serious blow to Palestinian liberty. It sets a dangerous precedent. Al Jazeera reporter, Tony Birtley said, “Every year, hundreds of Palestinian boys are arrested and charged for crimes, sometimes as small as stone throwing, but following this case anyone, even minors, found guilty of murder, manslaughter or attempted murder can get a prison sentence.”
“We decided not to hurt women, children or old people,” Ahmed told the court. “We just wanted to scare the Jews”, he said. The young boy was sobbing, as the court announced it’s judgement – 12 years in prison.
In addition to the prison sentence, the court ordered him to pay $50,000 in compensation to the victims. Ahmed’s lawyer, Lea Tsemel, said she will seek an appeal.