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Israel court reviews Ahmed Manasra eligibility for early release

Palestinian Ahmed Manasra is seen during his hearing in Be'er Sheva, Israel on April 13, 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian Ahmed Manasra is seen during his hearing in Be'er Sheva, Israel on April 13, 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israel's Ramle Magistrate's Court yesterday reviewed the eligibility of detained Palestinian Ahmed Manasra for early release under Israel's Parole Law of 2001, however, it did not announce a decision, his defence team said.

Lawyer Khaled Al-Zabarqa told reporters after the session that a parole board has reviewed the case and heard all the parties, but did not issue a decision, noting that the court may issue its decision within a week.

"We called on the committee to refuse to classify Ahmed's case as terrorism and to transfer it to the early release committee, especially since he is in a difficult physical and psychological condition," Al-Zabarka said.

He explained that he visited Manasra in prison and found signs of wounds along his left arm all the way to the wrist, as well as wounds on his right arm, noting that Ahmed did not communicate with him visually or verbally and seemed to show signs of illness and general exhaustion.

According to Amnesty International, Ahmad's mental health worsened during his incarceration.

Ahmad Manasra is a Palestinian youth who was imprisoned 7 years ago, at the age of 13, by the occupation forces and has since been suffering from intense psychological torture including solitary confinement - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Ahmad Manasra is a Palestinian youth who was imprisoned 7 years ago, at the age of 13, by the occupation forces and has since been suffering from intense psychological torture including solitary confinement – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

In October 2021 an independent Israeli clinical psychologist working with Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHRI) diagnosed him with severe psychiatric conditions, and stated these had developed since his Imprisonment.

READ: Ahmad Manasra's psychological health in real danger, warns defence team 

Ahmad Manasra's parents said in February 2022 that their son had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, is suffering from psychotic delusions, and is severely depressed with suicidal thoughts.

The family said that he was violently beaten when he was detained in 2015 at the age of 13, and he had sustained a  fractured skull.

Manasra has been unlawfully detained for seven years by the Israeli occupation under horrific circumstances and is currently suffering from serious mental health issues. He was arrested at just 13 and violently interrogated without a lawyer or his parents present.

He was handed a 12-year jail term – later reduced to nine – for the attempted murder of a 20-year-old and a 12-year-old boy in an illegal Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, this is despite him not taking part in the attack. His cousin was shot dead by an Israeli in 2015, while Manasra was brutally beaten up by an Israeli mob and crushed by an Israeli driver, leaving him with head injuries. At the time of his arrest, Israeli law stated that children under the age of 14 could not be held criminally responsible.

Last month, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) filed a request to the Beersheba District Court requesting the extension of his solitary confinement.

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