Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Child Prisoners

The Israeli occupation is escalating its attacks on Palestinian children and youth amid the growing intifada, including the Justice Ministry’s new draft law, seeking to imprison Palestinian children from the age of 12.

This proposed law comes amid a raft of repressive laws promulgated by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian population living under colonization and occupation, including the planned imposition of new minimum sentences of three years imprisonment for stone-throwing at occupation settlers and soldiers. Sentences of up to twenty years have been discussed.

All of these charges and convictions would of course, take place in Israeli military courts, which convict 99.74% of the Palestinians brought before them. While the law’s proponents have stated that its provisions apply only for “murder, attempted murder or manslaughter,” it should be noted that the use of such charges, in particular “attempted murder,” in Israeli military courts is quite broad. One such example is the case of the Hares Boys, five Palestinians – minors when arrested and charged – accused of “attempted murder” on the basis of a settler car accident that occurred near their village. (The Hares Boys were, after a series of mass arrests in their village, accused of throwing stones at the settler road, despite a complete lack of evidence, and then charged with 25 counts of “attempted murder.”)

A child of twelve convicted in Israeli military court would be imprisoned in a “closed treatment facility” administered by the occupation authorities and then be turned to a regular prison to serve their sentence. Ayelet Shaked, the far-right extremist Justice Minister of the Netanyahu government, has referred to Palestinian children as “little snakes,” stating that the “entire Palestinian people is the enemy,” and said:

“They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes.”

Well over 320 Palestinian children under 18 are imprisoned in Israeli jails, many of whom are accused of “stone-throwing.” 122 children have been arrested so far in November, following the arrest of 177 in October; there are also now 12 children held in administrative detention without charge or trial. Administrative detention is often used when there is no evidence at all to support even the most general charges of stone-throwing or posting so-called “incitement” on social media.

The Palestinian minors held under administrative detention are: Fadi Abbasi, Mohammed Gheith, and Kazem Sbeih – all from Jerusalem, which Eyad Abu Eqtaish of Defence for Children International Palestine noted was “unprecedented” – and now nine more from the West Bank: Huzaifa Jabarin, Mahmoud Abu Ali, Ashraf Zaid, Mahmoud Shweiki, Jamal Daray, Nasim Huwarin, Abdelghani Hamad, Majed Al-Saadi and Adnan Al-Azayzeh. Riyad Al-Ashqar of the Prisoners’ Center for Studies noted that Palestinian minors had not been held under administrative detention in the past eight years, noting that this is an escalation in the intensity of Israeli attacks on Palestinian children.

In this context, the video of the screaming, abusive interrogation of 13-year-old Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra, without parents or a lawyer, by Israeli occupation forces, was leaked:

Manasra’s 15-year-old cousin was shot dead and he was severely wounded by Israeli occupation soldiers; following his shooting he was surrounded by settlers who denied him access to medical care and shouted profanity and abuse at him, after he and his cousin were accused of participating in a stabbing. The shooting and abuse was also captured on video.

17 Palestinian minors have been killed by Israeli occupation forces since 1 October, including a baby killed by tear gas.

Families and fellow prisoners in Ofer prison have reported that the children’s area in the prison is overcrowded due to the ongoing arrests in the past two months and that 49 of the prisoners newly arrived were severely ill, injured with live bullets, or had been severely beaten by Israeli forces prior to coming to the prison. The child prisoners also have no access to blankets or other needs inside the prison.

Take action!

Palestinian children are under attack.

1. Contact your government officials and demand an end to international silence and complicity with the attacks on Palestinian children. In Canada, Call the office of the new Foreign Minister, Stéphane Dion, at 613-996-5789 and demand an end to Canadian support for Israel and justice for Palestinian children, or email: In the US, call the White House (202-456-1111) and the US State Department (202-647-9572); raise your concern about the treatment of Palestinian children and demand an end to US aid to Israel. In the EU, contact your MEP – you can find your MEP here, or use the tool at to both call for an end to the EU-Israel Association Agreement and highlight the abuse of Palestinian children.

2. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy in your area.  This is a time of uprising and intifada – protests are happening around the world and are more urgent than ever. see our list of actions here: Hold a community event or discussion, or include this issue in your next event about Palestine and social justice. Please email us at to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.

3. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. G4S, a global security corporation, is heavily involved in providing services to Israeli prisons that jail Palestinian political prisoners – there is a global call to boycott itPalestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS at


Following events in Oakland and Albuquerque, the Room Number 4 tour with Sahar Abbasi Baidon, organized by the Middle East Childrens Alliance, is continuing in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Greenville, Delaware; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania over the coming week.

Room Number 4 is a photographic campaign prepared by Madaa Center and War Child Holland that illustrates the violations of Palestinian children’s rights in East Jerusalem. The 12 staged photos are accompanied by written testimonies from the children themselves. Room Number 4 is the name of the Israeli interrogation room at the Russian Compound Detention Center in Jerusalem.

An additional 10 documentary photos of life in occupied East Jerusalem taken by Majd Ghaith will further demonstrate the violations of children’s rights from home demolitions to settler violence.

Come hear from Sahar Abbasi Baidon – Direct from Palestine! Sahar is a mother of four and the deputy director of MECA’s partner, Madaa Silwan Creative Center, in East Jerusalem. Born and raised in Silwan, Sahar and has worked at Madaa focusing on projects to improve life for children and women. She works directly with children who are arrested, and her interviews and research (“The Impact of Child Arrest” a study published by Sahar and Dr. Kasahun) are the basis for the Room Number 4 photo exhibit.


Networking Brunch and Discussion with Sahar
Friday, October 30th, 10 am – 12 pm
Islamic Resource Center
5235 S. 27th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53221
$10 fee, Open to the Public

Exhibit and presentation
Friday, October 30, 7pm
Ballroom East, 1st Floor
Student Union, UW Milwaukee
2200 E. Kenwood Blvd
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Sponsored by: Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, Friends of Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine – UW Milwaukee
Contact: Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, 414-727-4900,
Facebook event

Sunday, November 1, 1:30pm
First Unitarian Society of Madison
900 University Bay Drive
Madison WI 53705

Wednesday, November 4th, 6:30pm
Room No. 4 Photo Exhibit and Presentation
St. Joseph on the Brandywine in the St. Joseph Family Center
10 Old Church Rd, Greenville, DE 19807
Facebook event

Thursday, November 5, 7pm
Claudia Cohen Hall (map)
249 S 36th St, Philadelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by Penn Students for Justice in Palestine
Contact: Anan Zahr
Co-sponsors Amnesty International at Penn and Penn Arab Student Society
Facebook event

The International Middle East Media Center reported Monday that over $30,000 USD (NIS 120,000) in fines have been imposed on child prisoners just since the beginning of 2015. 6

Abd al-Fattah Dawla, a representative of Palestinian child prisoners in Ofer, told a Palestinian lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society that NIS 120,000 in fines have been imposed since the beginning of the year. 34 Palestinian children and teens under 18 were arrested in January, 29 in February, and 23 in March through April so far. He also noted that there are 24 sick child prisoners in Ofer, including Mohammad Blasi with severe infections and Yazan Jawabreh, who has asthma.

On January 19, a lawyer of the Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs Committee reported that Palestinian minor prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails are subjected to physical torture during their arrest and interrogation as well as in detention.

“By the end of January 2014, it was reported that a total of 183 Palestinian children were prosecuted and detained in the Israeli court system, a rise of 18.8% over the month. The figure includes twenty children between the ages of 14 and 15,” reported the Middle East Monitor in news story.

“Around 500 – 700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system each year. The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones. No Israeli children come into contact with the military court system,” said Defense for Children International (DCI).

“Despite international condemnation and awareness of Israel’s widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian child prisoners, there have been no practical steps taken to curb violations,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCI-Palestine. “The international community must demand justice and accountability.”

Israel is the only state to systematically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic standards of due process. Addameer human rights group says most of the detained children report being subjected to ill-treatment and having confessions extracted from them during interrogations.

Forms of ill-treatment used by Israeli soldiers include slapping, beating, kicking, violent pushing, threats and even sexual assault.

A study conducted by Defense for Children International (DCI) in the occupied Palestine territories showed that Palestinian children in Israeli prisons are being subjected to torture, sleep deprivation and are repeatedly blindfolded.

DCI reported that, “In 21.4% of cases, Israeli military, police and security agents held children in solitary confinement for an average of 10 days for interrogation purposes.”

In 96% of cases documented by DCI-Palestine in 2013, children were questioned alone and rarely informed of their rights, particularly their right against self-incrimination.

DCI stated, “The interrogation techniques are generally mentally and physically coercive, frequently incorporating a mix of intimidation, threats and physical violence with a clear purpose of obtaining a confession. More than one in five of the 2013 cases, children signed statements in Hebrew, a language they do not understand.”

DCI reported that, “Military detention is a reality for hundreds of Palestinian children each year, exposing them to physical and psychological violence, interrupting education, contributing to mental health issues, and placing large numbers of families under stress. This continued to be the case in 2014.”

The Hares Boys, five Palestinian teens who have now been imprisoned for over 2 years and one month, who are facing an Israeli military court because of a settler car accident, will be facing court dates in the coming month:

Ali Shamlawi 30 April
Mohammed Kleib 12 May
Ammar Souf, Mohammed Suleiman 20 May
Tamer Souf TBC

The international Campaign to Free the Hares Boys is urging internationals in Palestine who carry foreign passports to attend the military court hearings in Salem. If you are not in Palestine please contact your embassy and ask that they attend on your behalf. You can also inquire if your state – via its foreign representative the embassy – cares about human rights and children’s rights in particular.

The Hares Boys are five Palestinian teens from the West Bank village of Hares. After a settler had a car accident on a settler only road near the village, despite the involved drivers’ own initial statements of other causes, the Israeli occupation forces invaded the village and arrested 19 boys in repeated violent raids on the village, accusing them of throwing stones and causing the accident. There were no witnesses to the car accident and no one has stated that they saw any Palestinian children throwing stones that day. Nonetheless, teen boys, all under 18, were arrested, interrogated, kept in solitary confinement in tiny cells for up to two weeks and denied lawyers.

Now, five of these boys are being charged with 20 counts of “attempted murder,” one for each allegedly thrown stone. There is an international campaign to support these Palestinian teens, facing an Israeli military court and its injustice to Palestinians and having suffered 2 years of imprisonment.

Following a four-month prison sentence and a 2000 NIS ($USD) fine, 15-year-old Khaled al-Sheikh finally walked free from Israeli prison in Ofer yesterday, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, April 17. Greeted by his parents, al-Sheikh recounted his experience in Israeli prisons: “The [Israelis] attacked me with rifle butts on the head and insulted me during the investigation,” he said. “Although I suffer from anaemia, they did not give me any medical help, apart from some painkillers.” He added that it was a “tough” investigation. “I was insulted and beaten and held in shackles for hours in a small cell.” This did not scare him. “This is the [Israeli] occupation. It will not scare us.”

Al-Sheikh was one of 1,200 Palestinian children detained in 2014; there have been another 200 detained so far in 2015. Between 500 and 700 Palestinian children are brought before Israeli military courts each year. Like Khaled, many are charged with throwing stones; his father reported he was throwing stones against a wall in his village of Beit Anan.

Photos of Khaled’s release:

Al-Sheikh’s parents were denied family visits throughout his detention; they were granted a permit for a visit for May, weeks after he would be released. Patrick Strickland reported in the Electronic Intifada that:

These are not isolated cases. Research by Defence for Children International-Palestine indicates that three-quarters of Palestinian children detained by Israel in 2014 endured some form of physical violence between the period of their arrest and interrogation. Half of them were also strip searched.

Between 2012 and 2014, Israel also held 54 children in solitary confinement before charging them with any offense.

Israeli interrogators often blindfold, bind and threaten children, according to various human rights groups. A report published in August 2013 by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem paints a horrifying picture of the systematic abuse Palestinian children face during Israeli detention.

From November 2009 until July 2013, B’Tselem investigated dozens of cases of abuse in a police station in Etzion, a Jewish-only settlement in the West Bank. From fifty-six child detainees, at least twelve reported that interrogators threatened them or female relatives with rape, genital injury or other forms of sexual violence.

A recent report by UNICEF, the United Nations children’s fund, reaches similar conclusions. From 208 affidavits that UNICEF collected in 2013, at least 163 children reported not being adequately notified of their legal rights, especially the right to a lawyer and the right to remain silent.

Other high-profile cases of imprisoned Palestinian children, including teens, include the Hares Boys, who have been held for over two years, since they were 15 to 17 years old. To take action for their freedom – and all imprisoned Palestinian children – visit the Campaign to Free the Hares Boys and Defense for Children International Palestine.

Imprisoned Palestinian boy, Khaled al-Sheikh, 14, from Beit Annan in Jerusalem area, has now been imprisoned for 40 days, accused of “throwing stones.” Along with 14-year-old girl Malaak al-Khatib, also accused of “throwing stones,” he is one of the youngest of the Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.  Malaak was sentenced to two months in Israeli prison and a 6000 NIS ($1500 USD) fine, which her parents struggled to pay. Between 150 and 200 Palestinian child prisoners are currently held in Israeli prisons. Take action: demand the release of Khaled, Malaak and all Palestinian child prisoners.

Al-Sheikh’s father, Hussam, speaking with Ahrar Center, said that his son has health conditions, including anemia, and is not receiving treatment. He is a tenth grade student, arrested on 12 December 2014 next to the separation wall near their village, and currently imprisoned in Ofer prison. He has had three sessions in his trial for throwing stones; this is a common charge against any Palestinian participating in a demonstration, and particularly is frequently used against child prisoners. He will be brought before the military court again on 11 February. The al-Sheikh family has been denied permits to visit Khaled for unstated “security” reasons, and they have not been allowed to touch him, hug him or talk to him privately during the court hearings, where he was shackled hand and foot despite his youth. “The normal place for children is their school or playground and not prison,” he concluded.

malaakIn February 2015, the Israeli army also announced that it was suspending a “pilot program” in the West Bank for the issuing of written summonses instead of arresting children at night. “No statistics were kept” on the pilot program; however, Military Court Watch reports that in 67% of cases where written summonses were issued, this was still done through military home raids after midnight that continue to traumatize children and their families. MCW noted that “no genuine attempt has been made by the military authorities to effectively replace night arrests with summonses and that the pilot programme has not been implemented in good faith.” Defence for Children International Palestine has also reported extensively on the abuse of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons.

Take Action: Demand the release of Palestinian Children:

1. Sign this petition calling on European parliamentarians to take action:

2. Take action for Palestinian prisoners: protest at an Israeli consulate or embassy, or hold an educational event. Share this alert for Palestinian child prisoners.

3. Join the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions. Isolate Israel for its mass political imprisonment of Palestinians. Boycott products like HP and SodaStream, and demand an end to security contracts with G4S, which operates in Israeli prisons. Learn more at

ubaidaHeavily armed “special units” of Israeli occupation prison guards raided the child prisoners’ (referred to as “Cubs” by Palestinian prisoners’ organizations) wing in Hasharon prison, searching and ransacking 5 rooms (1, 3, 5, 16, and 11) for several hours on Sunday, August 24. This unit is for Palestinian teens held in occupation prisons.

Child prisoners were handcuffed and strip-searched by these heavily armed forces; the youth refused to strip naked and the prisoners’ representative was brought in, and the children were searched wearing their underwear.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society noted that there are 37 youth, mostly from Jerusalem, held in Hasharon prison in difficult conditions. They are routinely denied visits with their relatives and family on the grounds of “security.” Fawaz Shallouda, a lawyer with PPS, said that the child prisoners face poor food quality and quantity, which was made worse with recent cuts in the amount of food. He noted that many kinds of fruits and vegetables had not been seen by the children since their arrest.

He noted that child prisoners are facing delays in receiving medical care. Ahmad Mashaal, 15, from Qalqilya, is suffering from anemia and needs periodic blood tests, however, these tests are not administered by the prison clinic.

The education of child prisoners is being severely disrupted; they are allowed only to study Arabic language and mathematics, however, they are prohibited from having calculators or graphing calculators and are allowed only pencils and rulers.

The child prisoners currently held in Hasharon are:

  1. Mahmoud Abu Khudeir
  2. Mahmoud Abu Teir
  3. Malik Abu Teir
  4. Mohammed Abu Teir
  5. Majid Abu Teir
  6. Khaled Abu Khdeir
  7. Nassim Abu Maria
  8. Khalil Abu Sanad
  9. Yahya Abu Riyala
  10. Mohammed Abu Ni’aa
  11. Fayez Beitouni
  12. Hussein Jawadreh
  13. Noureddine Zaghal
  14. Samer Hamdan
  15. Mamoun Tawil
  16. Saad Mansour
  17. Ahmed Meshaal
  18. Fathi Majadeh
  19. Wael Sabaneh
  20. Ubeida Asaid
  21. Mohammad Abbassi
  22. Ayman Abbasi
  23. Majdi Abbasi
  24. Shadi Abdullah
  25. Anwar Obeid
  26. Yazan Atallah
  27. Mohammed Alkom
  28. Maher Erekat
  29. Mohammed Farawi
  30. Mohammed Faraoun
  31. Jihad Sufi
  32. Yazan Kiswani
  33. Firas Kiswani
  34. Samir Shbeita
  35. Mohammed Abu Teir
  36. Wissam Aruri
  37. Mohammed al-Haddrah


Free the Hares Boys! A night of food, short films, music, speakers, dancing and DJs

Thursday, August 7
7:30 PM – 1:00 AM
Passing Clouds
1 Richmond Rd, Dalston, E8 4AA London, United Kingdom
Facebook event:


Join us on the 7th August for a night of food, short films, speakers, music, dancing and DJs – standing up for Palestinian child prisoners, the Hares Boys. Presented by East in East, and guest-hosted by London Palestine Action! Entry fee £5.

From 7.30pm, join us at Passing Clouds for films and speakers on child prisoners and the case of the Hares Boys. Yummy vegetarian/vegan Middle Eastern dinner will be available for £5 (also going to the fundraiser) before and during the films and speakers (to be announced), so come along and have dinner with us before you have a dance.

This will be followed by live music from the fantastic Faith Taylor who will be followed by the unique world music collective Raast, weaving the modern day experience of exile and displacement through traditional Palestinian beats and melodies. Songs of hope, love and resistance that will make you dance and cry.

More exciting live acts are still to be announced and the performances will be followed by DJ sets, finishing up at around 1am.

Why this is important:

The Hares Boys are five Palestinian teenagers who have been held in prison for the last 16 months for a crime that never happened. They have experienced torture at the hands of Israeli prison guards, having been arrested at random in the middle of the night and blamed for an Israeli settler’s car crash. The evidence is non-existent, but the boys are still facing decades in prison. They are currently going through the Israeli military court system, which is automatically stacked against Palestinians. Stand up against injustice, child imprisonment and the torture of Palestinian prisoners by coming to the fundraiser and making a donation!

There are huge burdens associated with having a child in prison – both emotional and financial – the boys’ families are struggling with legal fees, travelling to visits (often to find them cancelled, meaning another journey is necessary), supplying food and clothes to their sons in prison and campaigning for their release. Funds raised will go directly to the families to help them with these costs, making a real change for the boys and lightening the load on their relatives.

Find more information about the Hares Boys here:

‘East In East’ is a monthly night curated by The Raast Collective that aims to bring the best of modern day Arabic and Middle Eastern music and film to heart of the East End.

Tarek Abu Khdeir, following beating by occupation forces.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association issued the following statement on the detention and beating of Tarek Abu Khdeir and 10 other children and young men in Shu’afat (translated from Arabic):

Tarek Abu Khdeir, following beating by occupation forces.
Tarek Abu Khdeir, following beating by occupation forces.

Occupied Ramallah. July 5, 2014 – Mohammed Mahmoud, a lawyer with Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, said that Israeli forces and undercover units arrested 11 children and young men from the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shu’afat, the hometown of the child martyr Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped, killed and burned by a gang of settlers last Wednesday.

Among those arrested was the 15-year-old child, Tarek Abu Khdeir (a cousin of Mohammed Hussein Abu Khdeir), who was arrested by a special unit in front of his family home in Shu’afat at 8 PM on Thursday and severely beaten on the head, chest and back. He was not transferred to the hospital for treatment until after midnight.

A lawyer with Addameer, who represented the child Tarek Abu Khdeir before the Magistrate’s Court on Friday, said that the beatings he received were severe enough to kill him, and cause severe injuries to his face and bruises on his head and chest. Despite this, the Magistrate’s Court refused to release him and extended his detention to Sunday for interrogation, stating that he may flee the country as he is an American citizen.

The lawyer said that despite the judge viewing the reality of torture and attempted murder as recorded and documented on a video of the brutal beating suffered by the child, and the medical report submitted by Hadassah hospital, they chose to extend the child’s detention, risking him being exposed to further physical and psychological torture at the hands of interrogators in the Moskobiyeh interrogation center.

The lawyer said that the judge also extended the detention of ten other young men arrested by the special forces and undercover agents last Wednesday in Beit Hanina and Shu’afat after the demonstrations denouncing the kidnapping, killing, torture and burning of the child Mohammed Abu Khdeir.

Among those arrested was Amer Ali Hassan, 21, who was severely beaten with a gun to his head and face and remains hospitalized for treatment, and did not appear in court due to his injuries; the judge extended his detention until Monday.

Addameer represented the following prisoners at the hearing:
1. Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, Shu’afat, subjected to brutal beatings;
2. Karim Abu Khdeir, 21, Shu’afat, severely beaten, detention extended until Monday;
3. Amer Ali Hassan, 21, Shua’fat, severely beaten, hospitalized, detention extended until Monday;
4. Fathi Shawish, 30, Shua’fat, beaten, detention extended until Monday;
5. Nasser Abu Sabih, 21, Beit Hanina, beaten and arrested in Shua’fat, extended until Sunday;
6. Khaled Abu Sneineh, 22, Beit Hanina, arrested in Shua’fat, extended until Sunday.

Jerusalem has experienced since last Wednesday wide-ranging demonstrations against the heinous crime committed by settler terror against the child Mohammed Hussein Abu Khdeir, which have been attacked by occupation forces, who have arrested dozens of young men, wounding 200 including children with various injuries due to rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas.

Addameer is deeply appalled as the occupation forces and settler terrorist gangs continue a broad and systematic torture of Palestinian children, through detention, kidnapping, torture and murder. The absence of international accountability and action is what encourages the occupation state and the gangs to attempt to destroy the Palestinian people, rob them of their rights, and broadcast calls to kill them.

Addameer is demanding the United Nations and the High Contracting Parties of the four Geneva Conventions to act urgently to rein in the terrorist Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians and children and to hold the occupation state accountable for its war crimes and daily crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people.

Tarek Abu Khdeir, following beating by occupation forces.

Palestinian American boy, Tarek Abu Khdeir, was beaten brutally by Israeli occupation forces only days after the vicious murder of his cousin, Mohammad Abu Khdeir, by Israeli settlers. Tarek, 15, has no charges against him – yet his detention has been extended. Click here for action items to demand Tarek’s freedom.

Press Release from the family of Tarek Abu Khdeir:

Following the brutal abduction and murder of 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem, his cousin, 15-year-old Tarek Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian-American child in Jerusalem on holiday from Tampa, Florida is in Israeli detention after being beaten by two undercover Israeli police agents last night.

Despite needing critical medical attention for severe injuries to his head and face, the Israeli authorities denied medical treatment for 5 hours before he was transferred to Hadassa Hospital. He was then taken directly to court and is currently in detention at the notorious Russian compound (al-Maskobiya), known for brutal interrogation techniques.

His father, Salah Abu Khdeir, asked that his son be seen at a hospital of the family’s choosing, but was denied, and was subsequently denied having an Arab doctor present during Tarek’s treatment. Although his son was unconscious, he was chained to the bed. While in the hospital, his face had swollen to a degree to which he could not speak when conscious and blood was also found in his urine, concerning family that there could be internal bleeding.

tarek1 tarek2

Photos via Addameer

He has not yet been formally charged, though prosecutors claim he was throwing stones despite being unable to provide any evidence to the court. When asked by the court under what basis Tarek was being held, prosecutors said they were still “collecting evidence.” His hearing is scheduled for Sunday.

Tarek is in dire need of medical attention and his family is calling for his immediate release after this brutal beating and arbitrary arrest.

See the video (which shows his beating):

For additional information, please contact: (703) 879-6353 or

Addameer says:

“No charges or accusations have been brought against Tarek, yet his despite his young age and unlawful treatment, his detention has been extended until the morning of Sunday 6 July in the Court of First Instances in Jerusalem.

Tarek is one of 11 Palestinians who were beaten and arrested in Shofat last night following the brutal murder of 16-year old child Mohammad Abu Khdeir, who was found beaten and burned on the ruins of Palestinian destroyed village Deir Yassin hours after he was kidnapped in a retribution act. The Israeli government has instated a gag-order regarding the circumstances of Mohammad’s kidnapping and murder.
The continued state-sanctioned violence against children is unlawful and unacceptable.
Addameer urges immediate action and calls on the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United States consulate and all regional embassies and consulates, human rights organizations and journalists to attend Tarek Abu Khdeir’s hearing on Sunday 6 July to investigate the intensified aggression against Palestinian children.”


1. Call the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and demand Tarek’s release and access to medical care. The embassy’s number is +972-3-519-7575.

2. Contact Rep. Cathy Castor (, Sen. Marco Rubio ( and @MarcoRubio) and Sen. Bill Nelson ( and @SenBillNelson) to let them know you expect them to do something about what happened to their young constituent.

3. TWITTERSTORM Saturday, July 5th at 11:00am Pacific Time / 1:00pm Central time/ 2:00pm Eastern Time/ 9:00pm Palestine time, we will be tweeting about Tarek using the hashtag #FreeTarek.