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Israeli court sentences 2 Palestinian children to 2 years in juvenile detention center

Jan. 4, 2017 5:26 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2017 5:02 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- An Israeli court in Jerusalem sentenced two 13-year-old Palestinian boys from occupied East Jerusalem to two years in an Israeli juvenile detention center on Wednesday after the two were charged with attempted murder and possession of knives.

Muhammad Mahmoud, a lawyer for the defense, told Ma’an that Shadi Anwar Farah and Ahmad Raed Zatari were sentenced to two years of imprisonment in an Israeli juvenile facility.

Mahmoud added that Farah and Zatari were initially detained on Dec. 12, 2015, but that the period they had already spent in detention would not be counted toward their two-year sentence.

Exactly a year ago, Farah and Zaatari were charged with attempted murder and possession of knives, after Israeli forces allegedly found knives on the boys during a stop-and-search in Jerusalem.

Amjad Abu Asab, who heads a Jerusalem committee for prisoners' families, said at the time that both children were "interrogated in the absence of adult family members and lawyers, which is a serious violation of Israeli law and international law."

Abu Asab added that the Jerusalem central court also ordered each of the boys' families to pay a bail of 5,000 shekels ($1,297) and sign a bail of 10,000 shekels ($2,593).

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 400 Palestinian children were being held in Israeli custody as of October.

Meanwhile, scores of Palestinians have been detained for allegedly possessing knives since a wave of violence first erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October 2015, resulting in the killings of 247 Palestinians and at least 34 Israelis.

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