Published On: Sun, Apr 24th, 2016

Israel frees its youngest Palestinian prisoner — a 12-year-old girl


Tulkarm, Palestinian Territories: Israel freed 12-year-old Palestinian Dima al-Wawi from prison on Sunday, more than two months after jailing her for an attempted stabbing attack.

Wawi was handed over to Palestinian authorities at Tulkarem crossing point into the northern West Bank, an AFP photographer said.

She was to travel from there to her family home near Hebron in the south of the territory.

She was arrested, wearing her school uniform, on February 9 at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and found to be carrying a knife.

Under a plea bargain with Israeli military prosecutors, Wawi pleaded guilty to attempted murder and possession of a knife and was sentenced to four months in an Israeli prison and a further six-week suspended sentence.

“She is the youngest Palestinian girl ever imprisoned,” her lawyer Tariq Barghouth posted on Facebook.

Dima al-Wawi with her mother. (AFP)

Barghouth said that Wawi’s defence team had asked the military court for her early release and it agreed.

According to Israeli military law, minors from age 12 can be charged, uniquely in the world according to United Nations children’s agency UNICEF.

There are 7,000 Palestinians currently in Israeli prisons, according to the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Prisoners Affairs Commission. The figures include 70 women, 750 in administrative detention, 700 sick detainees, and 30 who have been imprisoned for more than 20 years.

The figures also include 440 Palestinian children, who are held in Israeli detention for “security” offences, according to Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCI), a Ramallah-based rights group. This is the highest tally since the Israel Prison Service started providing figures in 2008, the group said. More than 100 of these children are between 12 and 15, while 12 are girls and seven are in administrative detention.



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Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology