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UNRWA: 'Immediately end Israel's detention of critically ill Palestinian teenager'

Israeli soldiers arrest a young Palestinian boy in the center of the West Bank town of Hebron, on June 20, 2014. [THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli soldiers arrest a young Palestinian boy in the West Bank on 20 June 2014 [THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images]

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is calling for an immediate end to the administrative detention of a chronically-ill Palestinian teenager, already held for a year.

Amal Muamar Nakhleh, a Palestinian refugee from the Jalazone refugee camp, suffers from myasthenia, a rare neuro-muscular disease.

The 17-year-old teenager was placed in administrative detention by the Israeli forces for six months on 21 January 2021, which was extended for four months in May, and then renewed again in September, for an additional four months.

Administrative detention is the arrest of Palestinians without charge or trial for an indefinite period, on the grounds that they might commit an offence in the future.

His father, Moammar Nakhleh, told AFP after the latest hearing: "The occupation tribunal renewed my son's administrative detention for the fourth time, despite his illness."

Nakhleh, a journalist, added that his son will remain in detention until 18 May, under the new order.

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Israeli occupation authorities in the occupied West Bank first arrested Amal in November 2020, while he was out with friends after recovering from cancer surgery, his family said.

He was accused of throwing stones at soldiers and held for 40 days, but then set free by an Israeli judge until he was re-arrested in January last year and placed in administrative detention.

A decision on the extension of his administrative detention is scheduled to be taken next Tuesday.

Israel has a long history of using administrative detention to oppress Palestinians. Since March 2002, the number of Palestinians as administrative detainees has not fallen below 100. Like all Palestinian prisoners, administrative detainees face appalling prison conditions: they are regularly subjected to arbitrary beatings, solitary confinement, limited family visits and medical negligence.

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