Israel’s house arrest policy turns Palestinian parents into ‘prison guards’ – Middle East Monitor

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Ashraf Rajabi, 16, was arrested by Israeli forces in October 2021 while returning home to the city of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem. Anadolu News Agency reports.

The Palestinian minor has been accused of throwing stones at Israeli forces during protests over the demolition of Al-Yusufiye Cemetery, one of the oldest Islamic cemeteries in East Jerusalem.

Rajabi remained in Israeli detention for 10 days, but interrogators were unable to provide any evidence to support the allegations against the Palestinian boy.

He was released on parole by an Israeli court, which fined him $300 and ordered him to remain under house arrest for five days.

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“We received a court order on the fifth day that his house arrest be extended,” his father Kayed Rajabi said Agency Anadolu.

“Since then, the court has continued to extend his house arrest without setting a date for the measure to end,” he said.

prison guard

The Palestinian father said he and his family have become like “prison guards,” constantly watching their son’s movements to warn him not to leave the house.

The Israeli court has threatened the family with a $3,000 fine if Rajabi leaves home and has also put the boy behind bars.

Due to his house arrest, the Palestinian boy cannot participate in social activities with his family or friends.

The Israeli authorities apply the policy of house arrest against Palestinian minors because the law does not allow the detention of children under the age of 14.

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Instead, they place them under house arrest throughout the process until they come of age, at which point they can be sentenced to actual imprisonment.

There are no exact figures on the number of Palestinian children being held under house arrest by Israel.

An estimated 4,500 Palestinians are believed to be held in Israeli jails, according to data compiled by prisoners’ rights organizations.

unjust politics

Last month, the Israeli court allowed Rajabi to leave his home for school before returning to his house arrest.

“He wasn’t allowed to leave the house until 7 a.m., but he has to come back home by 3 p.m. Otherwise, in case of violation, the family will be punished,” said his father.

He said his son misses socializing with his relatives and friends, as well as his sporting activities.

“My son is under tremendous mental stress,” he said. “He is now completely isolated and cannot even visit his uncle’s house, which is adjacent to ours.”

Rajabi’s family is awaiting the next court hearing on April 18. To this day, they must continue to watch the boy and not allow him to leave the house for any reason.

“Being a prison guard for your son in his home is more difficult than his incarceration in Israeli prisons,” the sad father said. “Can you imagine how much we suffer every day from this unjust policy?”

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