An Israeli court yesterday refused to release the world’s youngest prisoner, an 11-year-old Palestinian, describing him as a “terrorist”, Quds Press reported. The magistrates’ court ruled that Ali Alqam should be sent to a Ministry of Welfare supervised residence until his next birthday in under a year’s time.
Israeli website Ynet News reported the court saying that “this is the first time Israeli security faces a terrorist of this young age,” noting that police is unable to arrest or interrogate him because he is below the age of criminal liability, which is 12 in Israel.
According to the website, his parents would be able to visit him in the supervised residence.
“In a year, the magistrate court will hold another hearing on whether or not he needs to stay at the supervised residence, taking into account the evaluations of Ministry of Welfare officials,” Ynet News reported.
A hearing is due to be held on 18 April regarding Muawiya Alqam, 14, his lawyer Yousef Al-Haddad said. He added that Muawiya did not plan to kill anyone but rather to “beat” them.
Muawiya has refused to stay in the supervised residence opting to stay in prison and is now in Megiddo Prison. He said authorities are trying to take revenge on the families of these Palestinian child prisoners.
Muawiya and Ali Alqam, residents of the Shuafat refugee camp, were arrested in October last year after they allegedly stabbed an Israeli security guard on Jerusalem’s light rail. Police shot and wounded 11-year-old Ali.