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Israeli court sentences 17-year-old Palestinian girl to 8 years in prison

Jan. 4, 2017 1:05 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2017 8:02 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israel’s central court in Jerusalem sentenced a Palestinian teenage girl to eight-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday morning, convicting her of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in occupied East Jerusalem in October 2015.

According to Amjad Abu Asab, head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners, the court sentenced Marah Jawdat Moussa Bakr, 17, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, to eight-and-a-half years of prison and imposed a fine of 10,000 shekels (approximately $2,595).

Bakr was shot and subsequently detained by Israeli forces on Oct. 12, 2015 after carrying out a stabbing attack which injured two Israelis in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where she attended the nearby Abdullah Bin al-Hussein high school.

According to Abu Asab, Bakir sustained critical injuries in her arm and still needs treatment and medical-follow-up. The teenager was initially imprisoned in Israel’s Ashkelon prison before being transferred to Ramla prison, and then to HaSharon prison.

According to a February report from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) had failed to provide adequate care for at least 29 female Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel's HaSharon prison last winter, including Bakir, who was one of 11 minors being held in the prison at the time.

Since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015, leading to Israeli forces carrying out mass detention campaigns, the number of Palestinian women and girls detained by Israeli forces has risen sharply.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, among the Palestinians detained by Israeli forces since October 2015 were 13 underage girls, some of whom, like Bakr, were wounded during their detention.

On Tuesday, an Israeli military court indicted a 17-year-old Palestinian girl in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus for attempting to murder an Israeli border guard officer. Israeli forces detained the teenager two weeks ago, after she allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near Qalqiliya in the northern occupied West Bank at an Israeli border police base in the area.

On Sunday, the Israeli magistrate's court in Jerusalem postponed announcing a sentence for 16-year-old Manar Shweiki, accused of planning to carry out a stabbing attack against Israelis, though Shweiki’s lawyer said he already reached a plea bargain with the Israeli prosecution, according to which Shweiki would be sentenced to six years in prison.

According to Addameer, as of Oct. 2016, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons, 64 of whom were women.

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