The Israeli Military Court of Appeal Confirms the Release of Child Detainee Amal Nakhleh

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10 December 2020

On 10 December 2020, the Israeli military court of appeal confirmed the release of child detainee Amal Nakhleh, 16 years old, after 40 days in incarceration. The decision was taken based on Amal’s age and physical and psychological health, as he suffers from a rare disease called myasthenia gravis, which requires regular medication and special care. In addition, Amal recently underwent surgery to remove a cancerous mass in his chest, and as a result, suffers from severe headaches and shortness of breath.

During the appeal session, the military prosecutor insisted on keeping Amal in detention. As not only did they appeal Ofer military court’s previous decision to release him, they further requested an additional 72 hours to possibly issue an administrative detention order against Amal. The military court of appeal rejected both requests and ruled for Amal's release.

The Israeli occupation systematically targets and arrests Palestinian children in an attempt to oppress and threaten a future Palestinian generation. Palestinian children are not afforded the protection they are entitled to under many international conventions and treaties, mainly the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel ratified in October 1991. They are subjected to different forms of psychological and physical torture, including policies of intimidation and harsh punishments that prevent them from living and growing up in dignity and health. 

It should be noted that Amal was arrested on 2 November 2020 from a random Israeli check-point between the two towns of Atara and Birzeit, north of Ramallah. The Israeli Occupation Forces assaulted Amal, tied him, and severely beat him during his arrest. The military prosecutor presented Amal with a list of charges based on throwing stones, a common allegation against Palestinian children. 

The Israeli occupation systematically targets and arrests Palestinian children in an attempt to oppress and threaten a future Palestinian generation. Palestinian children are not afforded the protection they are entitled to under many international conventions and treaties, mainly the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel ratified in October 1991. They are subjected to different forms of psychological and physical torture, including policies of intimidation and harsh punishments that prevent them from living and growing up in dignity and health. 

The Israeli Prison Services treat children the same way as adult prisoners without considering the specificity of their circumstances. As of the end of November 2020, the number of child prisoners reached 170, including two in administrative detention. The arrest of Palestinian children has a destructive impact on the level of children’s mental health, as losing trust and protection and being pulled away from family disrupts the character formation process and alienates the children from their families and society.