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Israeli court expected to sentence teenage Palestinian girl to 6 years in prison

Jan. 1, 2017 6:13 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 5, 2017 12:13 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli magistrate's court in Jerusalem on Sunday postponed announcing a sentence for 16-year-old Manar Shweiki, accused of planning to carry out a stabbing attack against Israelis.

The ruling was postponed until the court receives a report regarding her behavior over the course of the year that she has already served in Israeli custody. Nevertheless, Shweiki's lawyer Mustafa Yahya said he already reached a plea bargain with the Israeli prosecution, according to which Shweiki will be sentenced to six years in prison.

Shweiki was detained on Dec. 22, 2015 in the Wadi Hilweh area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, when she was accused of planning to carry out a stabbing attack against Israelis.

Israeli authorities claimed at the time that she was carrying a knife in her school bag.

She is currently being held at Israel's HaSharon prison.

The sentence is the latest in an Israeli crackdown on young Jerusalemite Palestinians, many of them women, who have been accused of involvement in attacks, while Israeli authorities have ordered lengthy prison sentences for Palestinians as young as 14 years old.

Last week, the Jerusalem magistrate's court sentenced 22-year-old Abd al-Aziz Hamad Marie to 35 years in prison for allegedly assisting in a stabbing attack.

Days earlier, the court sentenced 19-year-old Shurouq Dwayya to 16 years in prison and her family was fined of 80,000 shekels ($20,929).
Shurouq was shot and injured by the 35-year-old Israeli settler after she allegedly attempted to stab him on Oct. 7, 2015. However, witnesses told Ma'an at the time that she had been assaulted by the Israeli settler and did not have any sharp objects on her at the time of the incident.

The week prior, an Israeli military court sentenced 15-year-old Natalie Shukha to a year and a half in prison after she was convicted of attempting to stab an Israeli soldier at a military checkpoint. Shukha was shot in the chest and injured by Israeli forces on the scene.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, some 10,000 Palestinian women and girls have been detained by Israeli forces over the past 45 years. In 2015 alone, Israeli forces detained 106 Palestinian women and girls, which according to the group represented a 70 percent increase compared to detention numbers in 2013.

In October, Addameer reported that Israel was holding 64 female Palestinian prisoners and some 400 Palestinian minors.

Since a wave of political unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October, leading to Israeli forces carrying out mass detention campaigns, the number of Palestinian women and girls detained by Israeli forces has risen sharply.

Since October 2015, 34 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians and 247 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis. While Israel alleges 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.
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