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Israel releases child charged with stone throwing

Sept. 28, 2010 7:08 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 29, 2010 10:04 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court Tuesday released a 13-year-old child following six days of detention on charges of stone throwing, fining the boy 2,000 shekels ($545).

Karam Da'na was detained from his school in the Old City of Hebron on 22 September by Israeli forces and taken to the Ofer detention center in Ramallah.

A Palestinian Prisoner Society lawyer said the military court ruled that Da'na was not allowed to return to his family home until his next trial is heard. During Da'na's hearing, he said, the military prosecutor objected to the child's release, prolonging the session for over an hour.

An Israeli military source told Ma'an on Monday that Da'na had been charged with "throwing rocks" at Israeli forces, and that following an internal investigation, the case was referred to Israel's National Police.

A spokesman for the police did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on the case.

Qadoora Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, said putting the child on trial "does not fall in line with the law, nor is it based on international standards."

On Sunday, Da'na's family told Ma'an of their son's detention from the Al-Mutannabi School in the Old City of Hebron. At the time, an Israeli military spokeswoman said the army was not familiar with the detention.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information denounced the trial and arrest in a statement issued Monday, and called on Israel to release the 350 Palestinian children currently in Israeli custody.

The ministry also accused Israeli forces of carrying out arrest campaigns targeting children in particular.

In March 2010, an Israeli military tribunal released 12-year-old Al-Hassan Al-Muhtaseb after his father refused to pay a similar bailout fee, instead pledging to bring him in for trial if called.

At the time, the child's lawyer said no indictment had been filed nor were they any witnesses that Al-Muhtaseb, who was detained near his home in Hebron, had thrown stones on Israeli forces.
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