Israel extends detention of ill Palestinian teen: father

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Israel has extended for four more months the detention without charge or trial of a chronically-ill Palestinian teenager already held for a year, his father told AFP on Thursday.


Amal Nakhleh, 17, is one of the few minors held under what is known as administrative detention. The controversial practice allows for suspects to be detained without charge for renewable six-month terms while investigations continue.

His father, Moammar Nakhleh, told AFP after the latest hearing: "The occupation tribunal renewed my son's administrative detention for the fourth time despite his illness."

Nakhleh, a journalist, added that his son will remain in detention until May 18, under the new order.

The Shin Bet domestic security agency declined to comment to AFP on the reasons for Amal Nakhleh's detention. It has previously been quoted as saying he was "suspected of having taken part in terrorist activity".

Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank first arrested him in November 2020.

A football fan, he was out with friends after recovering from cancer surgery, his family said. The teen has myasthenia, a rare neuromuscular disease.

Accused of throwing stones at soldiers, Nakhleh was held for 40 days but then set free by an Israeli judge.

In January last year, he was re-arrested and placed in administrative detention, which has now been renewed again.

Administrative detention has been criticised by the Palestinians, human rights groups and foreign governments, who charge that Israel abuses it.

Israel's foreign ministry has defended the practice, saying that "due to the complex and volatile security situation in the West Bank, detention orders are issued against those who plan terrorist attacks, or those who orchestrate, facilitate or otherwise actively assist in the commission of such acts".

The foreign ministry says it is "an effective and lawful security measure".

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA has taken up the teen's case with Israeli authorities, demanding his immediate release for medical reasons and because he is a minor.

More than 450 Palestinians have been held in excess of 12 months under administrative detention, which prominent Israeli newspaper Haaretz has called an "undemocratic, corrupt practice".