Israel Rearrests Ill Palestinian Teen Earlier Released by Military Court

A 16-year-old Palestinian who was first arrested on November 2, charged with hurling stones, and subsequently released on bail after 40 days behind bars because of his medical condition, was rearrested by Israeli soldiers on Thursday, January 21. According to the Palestinian human rights organization Adameer, Amal Nakhleh, a resident of the Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah, suffers from a thymus gland disorder requiring him to take medication four times a day. Without his medicine, he experiences difficulty breathing and loses the ability to digest and swallow food as well as the ability to open his eyes and to easily control his hands.

Amal Nakhleh

Amal Nakhleh (Photo: Adameer)

On December 10, the Israeli military court of appeals confirmed the release of Nakhleh, after 40 days in incarceration. The youth had initially been arrested on November 2 at around 10pm at the entrance to the village of Bir Zeit north of Ramallah. He was returning home with friends in their car from shopping in the town of Rawabi on the last day of end-of-season sales. “Special forces pounced on the car, took everyone out and turned the guts of the car inside-out in their search,” Amal’s father, journalist and lawyer Muammar Nakhleh, told Haaretz, according to what he heard from the two friends arrested with Amal, who were released two hours later. Later on the father found inside the car the bag of new clothes his son had bought.

Upon his re-arrest on January 21, in a tortuously circuitous route, Israeli troops took Amal to Ofer Prison in the occupied territories, then transferred him south to the Etzion Prison in Gush Etzion, also in the territories, and finally brought him to Megiddo Prison in the north of the country. According to Amal’s mother, Dr. Iman Arar, her son is currently incarcerated in Megiddo Prison’s youth wing (all Palestinians minors). Dr. Arar has no idea how big the wing is, how many children are in her son’s cell, whether and how they can protect themselves from infection by the coronavirus, and how many days have passed since Amal last received his medication.