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Israeli military court to indict Palestinian teen for throwing Molotov cocktail

July 30, 2017 4:11 P.M. (Updated: July 30, 2017 4:11 P.M.)
An Israeli military watchtower near the Palestinian refugee camp of Aida on Nov. 30, 2016. (MaanImages/ Chloe Benoist, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court is preparing to indict a 17-year-old Palestinian suspected of throwing a Molotov cocktail at Rachel's Tomb, adjacent to Aida refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri wrote in a statement Sunday morning that the investigation on the case was almost finished, regarding a teenage suspect from the town of Beit Sahour next to Bethlehem city.

The youth allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at the base of Rachel's Tomb, which is located next to an Israeli military base at the edge of Aida refugee camp, on July 25. The police statement made no mention any casualties resulting from the incident. 

Al-Samri said Israeli forces were able to detain the suspect "quickly," and that at least one court session was held at the Ofer military court near Ramallah, which decided to indict the teen, to file the charges "soon." 

Since late 2016, locals in Aida refugee camp reported escalated military procedures, creating what some residents called a perpetual “atmosphere of fear.”

Meanwhile, right groups have widely documented the abuse of Palestinian children by Israeli forces and the harsh interrogation practices used to force their confessions, which has long been the target of criticism by the international community. According to Human Rights Watch, there is a 99.74 percent conviction rate for Palestinians tried in Israeli military courts. 

Ofer detention center is one of the most common sites used by Israel for the interrogation of Palestinian children. Last October, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs reported that the “overwhelming majority” of Palestinian minors held in Israel’s Megiddo and Ofer prisons were tortured during their detention and interrogation.

Defense for Children International - Palestine has said their research showed that almost two-thirds of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces had endured physical violence after their arrest.

Palestinian stone throwers face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities, with Israel passing a laws in 2015 allowing for up to 20 years in prison if charged with throwing stones at vehicles and a minimum of three years for the act of throwing a stone at an Israeli -- legislation rights groups say was designed specifically to target Palestinians, as Israelis and settlers are rarely prosecuted under the same standards of the law.
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