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Israel jails Palestinian boy with leukaemia

Israeli security forces take position outside Israel's Ofer Prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah [Shadi Hatem/apaimages]
Israeli security forces take position outside Israel's Ofer Prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah [Shadi Hatem/apaimages, File photo]

The Israeli military court at Ofer prison sentenced 15-year-old Ahmad Al-Khadour to 91 days in prison and issued a 3,000 shekel fine ($808), after the boy was accused of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers.

The sentence was handed down despite his family’s and rights groups’ extreme concern for the boy’s health. Ahmad suffers from leukaemia and epilepsy and requires regular medication.

Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) lawyer Ahmad Safiya said in a statement yesterday that the judge gave Al-Khadour a period of one year to pay the fine.

The judge also gave complete authority to Ofer prison director to release Al-Khadour before the end of his sentence, “in accordance with the Israel Prison Service’s (IPS) procedures”.

Ahmad, who is from the town of Beituniya in the central occupied West Bank, was diagnosed with leukaemia three years ago and also suffers from epilepsy, seizures, intense dizziness, and muscle contractions in his fingers.

He was detained on 2 January after he was accused of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers near the Ofer military checkpoint west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.

According to the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, soldiers violently assaulted Ahmad and beat him with the butt of their rifles.

Prisoner rights group Addameer said last month that the group “strongly condemns the continued detention of the chronically ill child, who appears to present no security threat to the area, and who requires proper and consistent medical treatment.”

Last week, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs reported that Ahmad’s medical condition had seriously deteriorated while in prison.

Lawyer from the committee Luay Ukka stressed that IPS authorities had not been providing adequate care for the child.

Rights groups have widely condemned Israel for its medical negligence of Palestinians in its prisons, which Addameer has called a “deliberate policy of neglect”.

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