Palestinian Minor to Face Possible 6 1/2 Year Prison Sentence

14-year-old Muawiya Alqam, a Palestinian minor accused of carrying a stab attack in Jerusalem in November, will likely be sentenced to six and a half years in prison, Ma’an reported.

A plea bargain was reached by Alqam’s lawyer, with the Israeli military prosecutor, according to which the boy will be jailed for six and a half years and his family ordered to pay a fine of 26,000 shekels ($6,759).

Muawiya’s family told Ma’an that the sentence will be officially pronounced during a hearing in July.

Muawiya was indicted on charges of attempted murder and possession of a knife in November. Israeli forces shot and wounded Muawiya’s 12-year-old cousin Ali Alqam, after the two allegedly stabbed and injured an Israeli security guard in northern Jerusalem.

Ali, is currently being held at a juvenile rehabilitation center. Meanwhile, Muawiya has been moved between Israel’s Russian Compound, HaSharon, and Megiddo prisons.

According to prisoners’ rights organization Addameer, 438 of the 7,000 Palestinians currently held in Israeli prisons are minors with an estimated 98 of these youths were under the age of 16.

Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinian children has been criticized as breaching the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that, “the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”

(Ma’an, PC)

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