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Israeli court maintains detention of 12-year-old Palestinian boy

April 13, 2016 6:55 P.M. (Updated: April 14, 2016 4:17 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities decided to uphold the one-year detention of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy who has been held since November for allegedly carrying out a stabbing attack with his cousin, a relative told Ma’an on Wednesday.

Ali Alqam was first detained on Nov. 10 at a light rail station in the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev after he and his cousin Muawiya, 14, stabbed a security guard, wounding him moderately.

Ali, who turned 12 in detention, was shot at least three times on the scene and had to undergo surgery to remove a bullet from his stomach.

In November, Muawiya was indicted on charges of attempted murder and possession of a knife.

Sheikh Abdullah Alqam, Ali’s uncle, told Ma'an that a court session for Ali was recently held at the Israeli magistrate court, in which the judge ruled to keep the young Palestinian detained for a negotiable year. The judge added that Ali would be moved from Acre to Ein Naqquba west of Jerusalem.

Alqam added that Ali’s lawyer had presented several requests to the court to reconsider the boy’s detention.

The uncle added that the judge had decided to extend Ali’s detention on the grounds that he still needs psychotherapy, despite the fact that the boy’s parents are reportedly able to provide him treatment.

According to prisoners’ rights organization Addameer, 406 of the 7,000 Palestinians currently held in Israeli prisons are minors. An estimated 108 of these youths are under the age of 16.

Israel’s widespread practice of detaining Palestinian children, sometimes in the same prison facilities as adults, has been criticized as breaching the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel ratified in 1991.

The convention states that “the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”

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