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After being chained to hospital bed, Palestinian boy to be released to house arrest

March 6, 2017 5:01 P.M. (Updated: March 6, 2017 7:17 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities were expected to release 14-year-old Abdullah Haroun al-Anati from detention to house arrest on Monday, after the boy was shot in the chest with a rubber-coated steel bullet during a violent raid last Monday in occupied East Jerusalem’s Shufat refugee camp and then handcuffed to a hospital bed.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a local organization in Jerusalem, said Sunday night that an Israeli magistrate’s court had extended the boy's detention until Monday, while Israeli daily Haaretz reported that al-Anati was expected to be remanded to house arrest upon his release.

Abdullah’s mother Abir al-Anati told Ma'an the day after he was shot that Israeli soldiers guarding the hospital room would not allow her to speak to or go near her son, adding that an Israeli interrogator questioned the 14-year-old boy for approximately two hours, despite the fact that under Israeli law, parents are entitled to be present when their minor children are questioned.

She denied Israeli police's claim that al-Anati was throwing rocks when he was shot, and insisted she was walking him home from school when they were forced to pass through clashes that had erupted at the entrance to Shufat refugee camp.

According to Abir, she managed to cross the checkpoint into the camp along with her children and walked away from the area where clashes were taking place, which also left a 9-year-old Palestinian girl injured by a rubber-coated steel bullet shot at her foot.

Al-Anati, she said, walked at a faster pace ahead of his mother and sisters, causing her to lose sight of him. Moments later, she learned from local youth that her son was shot.

Abir took her son to a local medical center before he was evacuated to the hospital. Israeli soldiers then intercepted the ambulance, holding it for more than hour, before demanding the driver to go to Israel’s Hadassah hospital in West Jerusalem.

Shufat refugee camp is located in northeastern Jerusalem within Israel's municipal boundaries of the city, but is encircled on three sides by Israel’s separation wall, forcing residents to pass through a congested military checkpoint to access the rest of Jerusalem where most claim residency status.

The camp is routinely the site of violent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth as a result of aggressive Israeli military raids.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians, including minors, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response.

Al-Anati’s case mirrored other instances when innocent Palestinians were shot -- sometimes fatally -- after being caught up in clashes, with Israeli forces claiming the bystanders were in fact the main instigators of the clashes.

Yaqoub Moussa Abu al-Qian, a math teacher and Palestinian citizen of Israel, was shot dead by Israeli police in January, when Israeli police claimed that the math teacher was carrying out a vehicular attack against Israeli police who were clashing with locals resisting a demolition, despite numerous eyewitness testimonies and evidence that showed Abu al-Qian was not posing a threat.

Mustafa Nimr was shot dead by Israeli forces last September when Israeli border police showered his vehicle with live fire as he was driving near clashes outside of Shufat refugee camp, while he was bringing home food and baby clothes.

Israeli police initially claimed that the two were attempting to carry out a car ramming attack on Israeli officers.

Israeli authorities later admitted that the 27-year-old was “killed by mistake,” though later attempted to accuse his cousin, who was driving the car, of causing Mustafa’s death by driving negligently which prompted Israeli forces to open fire on the vehicle.

Fifteen-year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran was killed in similar circumstances last June, when Israeli soldiers opened heavy fire on the vehicle he was traveling in while he and his friends were driving near a stone-throwing incident.

Despite Israeli police later admitting to "mistakenly" killing the teenager who had nothing to do with the stone-throwing, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said: “If it were not for the difficult security situation, which is entirely the result of incitement and Palestinian terror, Israel would not be forced to use force in order to protect its civilians.”

In July, 22-year-old Anwar Falah al-Salaymeh was also shot and killed by Israeli forces when he and two friends were driving and stumbled upon an ongoing Israeli army raid.
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