Father: Israel Has Held Teen Son a Year Without Charges

17-year-old Palestinian with neuromuscular disorder is under 'administrative detention'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 10, 2022 9:54 AM CST
Teen's Plight Calls Attention to Israel's Detention Policy
Muamar Nakhleh, father of Amal Nakhleh, a 17-year-old Palestinian with a rare neuromuscular disorder who has been held without charge for nearly a year in what Israel refers to as "administrative detention."   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Israel is considering whether to extend the detention of a 17-year-old Palestinian boy with a rare neuromuscular disorder who has been held without charge for nearly a year in what authorities refer to as administrative detention, his father said Monday. The use of administrative detention has galvanized demonstrations across the occupied West Bank in recent months as several adult prisoners have gone on hunger strikes to protest being held for months or years without charge, per the AP. Some have secured their release after months of fasting that left them hospitalized.

Israel says administrative detention, which is rarely used for minors, is needed to prevent imminent attacks or to detain dangerous militants without disclosing sensitive intelligence. Rights groups say it further denies due process to Palestinians already living under military rule. Amal Nakhleh, who was detained in January 2021, is one of just a handful of minors being held in administrative detention. He had a tumor removed from his lung in 2020 and suffers from myasthenia gravis, a nerve disorder that causes severe muscle fatigue. “I saw him today,” said his father, Muamar. “He couldn’t move his lips, he couldn’t move his eyes, he couldn’t smile. ... We are very worried about his health situation.”

Muamar Nakhleh says Israel has renewed Amal's detention three times over the past year without saying why he is being held or accusing him of any crime. “There’s no legal justification to hold him, there’s been no charge," he said. "They just say they have secret files.” At a court appearance on Monday, he was told that authorities need a few more days to decide whether to renew his son's detention. The Israeli military and Israel's Shin Bet internal security service did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(More Israel and Palestinians stories.)

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