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Israel sentences Palestinian kid to 10 years in jail, arrests about two dozen Palestinians

An Israeli soldier detains a Palestinian child close to Khirbet al-Rakiz village south of the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil on March 10, 2021. (File photo)

An Israeli court has handed down a ten-year prison sentence to a 17-year-old Palestinian boy after accusing him of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the occupied al-Quds.

Palestinian media reports said the Israeli central court also imposed a fine of 170,000 shekels (55,000 US dollars) against 17-year-old Mohammed Sabbah on Wednesday.

Sabbah was detained after being shot and critically wounded by Israeli forces on October 28, 2019. He was held at Ramla prison hospital for six months, where he underwent several medical surgeries, and is currently held at Megiddo prison.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Center for Studies (PCBS) said in a report in September that Israeli authorities had clearly escalated targeting Palestinian children in the current year.

The aim is to deter Palestinian minors from resisting the Israeli occupation, ruin their educational opportunities, destroy their future and create a weak and coward generation, the PCBS said. 

According to Palestinian authorities, Israeli forces have arrested about 1,200 Palestinian minors across the occupied West Bank, including the Old City of al-Quds, and the besieged Gaza Strip so far this year.

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of the so-called administrative detention.

Israeli prison authorities keep Palestinian inmates under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygiene standards. Palestinian prisoners have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression.

The Israeli parliament has already approved a law that allows prison officials to force-feed hunger strikers. The law has sparked criticism from rights groups who regard it as a disrespect of the detainees' rights. 

Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on the regime to bring the practice to an end.

Israel has been emboldened by the unconditional support of consecutive US administrations over the past few years. The Israeli military regularly opens fire on Palestinians, accusing them of seeking to stab its troops.

Human rights groups have repeatedly slammed Tel Aviv for its shoot-to-kill policy as a large number of Palestinians killed in such incidents did not pose any serious threat to Israelis.

Troops kidnap 21 Palestinians in West Bank, al-Quds

On Thursday, the Palestinian Information Center said Israeli forces had abducted at least 21 Palestinians during a series of separate overnight raids across the occupied territories.  

Citing local sources, the center said the Israeli forces detained at least four Palestinians in Surif town, northwest of al-Khalil (Hebron), early Thursday.

The kidnapped Palestinians were identified as Ahmed Ghunaimat, Khaled Ghunaimat, Ali Ghunaimat, and Musab al-Hoar.

Four more young men were forcibly abducted after Israeli soldiers broke into a number of homes in the West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin as well as Asira al-Qibliya village.

Israel's undercover agents also kidnapped a former Palestinian detainee from his home in Tubas City and took him away to an unknown location. 

Over a dozen Palestinians were also kidnapped after Israeli police stormed various neighborhoods across East al-Quds and the nearby Qalandia refugee camp.

Local residents and witnesses said the Israeli forces violently searched houses, causing excessive property damage before detaining the Palestinians.   

On Wednesday evening, Israeli forces kidnapped a Palestinian passenger at the Beit Hanoun (Erez) border crossing in the north of the besieged Gaza Strip.

The detained passenger, identified as Hasan Abu Mustafa from Khan Yunis, was trying to get approval for travel with his sick wife to the occupied territories.

The Israeli military frequently carries out wide-ranging kidnapping campaigns across the West Bank under the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians.

In recent months, Israeli forces have intensified their crackdown on Palestinians by raiding their homes and putting them behind bars.

Thousands of Palestinians are held in Israeli jails without clear charges. 

Israeli settlers, mostly armed, regularly attack Palestinian villages and farms and set fire to mosques, olive groves and other properties in the West Bank under the so-called “price tag” policy. However, Tel Aviv rarely detains the assailants. 

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