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Committee: 57 Palestinian minors held at Ofer in January

Feb. 6, 2019 2:19 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 9, 2019 9:42 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli courts issued prison sentences and fines against several Palestinian minors held at the Israeli military Ofer detention center in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and al-Bireh, during the past month of January.

The Palestinian Prisoners and Former Prisoners’ Affairs Committee said, in a report, that during the past month, Israel imposed a total of 60,000 shekels ($16,579 US dollars) of fines on detained Palestinian minors.

The report added that 57 Palestinian minors were detained and held at Ofer during the past month; 39 of whom were detained from their homes, 10 from roads, 2 while at military checkpoints, 1 for not holding an entry permit into Israel and 5 teens were detained after being summoned for interrogation.

One of the detained minors was detained after being shot and injured, while 17 others were detained after being assaulted and interrogated.

The committee said 28 of the detained minors were issued prison sentences, while one, identified as Laith Abu Khurmeh, 17, from the Kafr Ein town near Ramallah, is still held under administration detention.

Israel’s policy of administrative detention -- internment without charge or trial for three to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence -- has been widely condemned by the international community.

Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have claimed that the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.

Rights groups have charged Israel with using its policy of administrative detention, which is almost exclusively used against Palestinians, as a way of eroding Palestinian democracy and family life, while enabling Israeli authorities to detain Palestinian activists and public figures for extended periods of time without evidence of any wrongdoing.

According to the committee, there are currently 123 Palestinian minors held at the Ofer detention center.

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