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Beit Ummar teens spend year in Israeli jail
Published Tuesday 22/01/2013 (updated) 23/01/2013 20:47
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Eight teenagers from the southern West Bank town of Beit Ummar have spent almost a year behind bars in Israeli jails, deprived of their basic rights including education.

On March 7, 2012, Israeli troops ransacked the homes of eight teenagers who then found themselves in prison cells facing Israeli interrogators.

Saed Suleibi, Muhab Aadi and Sami Abu Judah are now 15 years old, and Bilal Awad, Ayish Awad, Basil Abu Hashim and Ahmad Suleibi are 16. They are being held at Ofer prison.

The eighth detainee, 14-year-old Zein Abu Marya was recently released and placed under house arrest after his family paid a 5,000-shekel ($1,340) fine.

Initially, an Israeli military court ordered the other seven teenagers to be banned from Beit Ummar. The ruling received negative media attention and on Jan. 16 the court instead ordered the teens to pay 3,000 shekels ($800) each before the next hearing on Sunday.

Lawyers say they expect the boys to be sentenced to between 14 and 18 months if their families pay the fines.

Beit Ummar popular committee secretary-general Yousif Abu Maria told Ma'an the sentence and fine would be doubled if the families fail to pay by Sunday. Saed Suleibi's father and lawyer confirmed the details.

The families are struggling to get the money together. They sought assistance from the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Detainee Affairs, but the ministry's lawyer said the PA did not pay fines and noted that the Ramallah government was facing a financial crisis.

"My son begged me to pay the fine so he can be released," Saed Suleibi's father told Ma'an. "Don't Saed and the other detainees have the right to be in their school seats instead of being in prison cells?"

The Israeli intelligence is accusing the boys of hurling stones at settlers' vehicles on the main road near Beit Ummar, causing damage to a car.
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1 ) Robert Haymond / Israel-Gush Etzion
22/01/2013 18:27
Ashley Palmer and his infant son both died a year ago, victims of stoning (deadly rocks) while driving in his car. No, we won't accept this anymore. It appears Hamas pays these teenagers to perform the "task", then complains about their "martydom". This form of violence and many other forms will no longer be tolerated and it doesn't matter what kind of false propaganda is perpetrated by Arab sources.

2 ) Arnold / Canada
22/01/2013 19:49
I have a feeling the fines were less last year and have increased because the fines were not paid then.

3 ) AKeenReader / UK
22/01/2013 20:59
Take the basta*d Israeli govt to ICC at the earliest opportunity. Enough is enough as they have over two decades to improve their behaviour. They have become bullish especilly when biased US stands along side but yet they preach democracy to the rest of us.

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
22/01/2013 22:03
Robert Haymond #1: 'Ashley Palmer and his infant son both died a year ago, victims of stoning (deadly rocks) while driving in his car. No, we won't accept this anymore...' Then leave the West Bank -- or at least stop using infants as human shields when you're there.

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
22/01/2013 22:46
To Arnold #2 'I have a feeling the fines were less last year and have increased because the fines were not paid then.' Of course there is that novel feature of Israeli jurisprudence. The detainees haven't even been convicted -- but already their fines are delinquent. But hey -- it's Planet Israel, right?

6 ) ABU / India
22/01/2013 23:10
@ Robert Haymond - Oh Really! Is it? And what about the settler crimes then? These settlers are openly creating violence scenes and move around openly armed in front of idf or israeli security forces, why aren't these zionist settlers sentenced to jail? Can this be tolerated. Oh yes, I forgot they are jews so everything is allowed to them. Stop this shit and spare me from your hasbara typical zionist comments.

7 ) Terese / Sakhnin
22/01/2013 23:55
He Robert, and your settler boys are throwing flowers to the palestinians? And they don't attack palestinian farmers and they don't put mosques on fire? WHo said that those boys threw stones. And even, isn't it possible to punish them in a way a kid should be punished? No prison. This is al political, this is to square them of resisting your occupation, your grabbing of land. But you know, these boys become more determined to resist the occupation, I am sure of that.

8 ) gabi / australia
23/01/2013 04:20
Robert Haymond - "it appears Hamas pays these teenagers to perform the task . ." you know Robert you are so full of hate that you make these things up - you have been caught out telling porkies before, haven't you? Do you condemn in such terms settlers who stone Palestinian cars? No, of course not, because you are the chosen ones, and the rest of us are just crap! That's your attitude, isn't it? At least be honest about that.
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