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Israel hands Palestinian girl 18-month prison sentence over alleged stab attempt

Dec. 19, 2016 4:48 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 20, 2016 1:26 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court at the Ofer detention center sentenced a teenage Palestinian girl to a year and a half in prison, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) said on Monday.

PPS lawyer Akram Samara told Ma'an that 15-year-old Natalie Shukha, from the town of Rammun in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, was convicted of attempting to stab an Israeli soldier at a military checkpoint in the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta in April.

Shukha was shot and injured by Israeli forces on the scene -- reportedly with a live bullet to her back and chest -- and was later taken to Israel's Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem to treat moderate to serious wounds.

Shukha made the news in October when a letter she wrote from prison was widely shared on the internet.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, some 10,000 Palestinian women and girls have been detained by Israeli forces over the past 45 years. In 2015 alone, Israeli forces detained 106 Palestinian women and girls, which according to the group represented a 70 percent increase compared to detention numbers in 2013.

In October, Addameer reported that Israel was holding 64 female Palestinian prisoners and some 400 Palestinian minors.

Since a wave of political unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October, leading to Israeli forces carrying out mass detention campaigns, the number of Palestinian women and girls detained by Israeli forces has risen sharply.

According to Addameer, among those detained between October 2015 and August 2016 were 13 underage girls, some of whom were wounded when Israeli forces detained them. The group added that at the closing of 2015, there were three Palestinian women held in administrative detention -- Israel’s widely condemned policy of detention without charge or trial.

The group has also reported on the treatment of Palestinian women prisoners by Israeli prison authorities, stating that the majority of Palestinian women detainees were subjected to "psychological torture" and "ill-treatment" by Israeli authorities, including "various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment.”
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