Amid International Campaign, Israeli Court Drops ‘Terrorism’ Charge on Manasra

A file photo of young Ahmed Manasra being tried at an Israeli military court. (Photo: via Social Media)

An Israeli court dropped charges of “terrorism” against Palestinian prisoner Ahmed Manasra on Wednesday, amid an international campaign calling for his release due to him suffering from physical and mental health issues, The New Arab reported.

Manasra, now 20, was arrested by Israeli forces in 2015 when he was 13 years old on suspicion that he was involved in a stabbing attack carried out by his cousin Hassan Khalid Manasra in occupied East Jerusalem.

At the time of his arrest, he was assaulted by Israeli security personnel and hit by a car, leaving him with a fractured skull.

His cousin was killed by Israeli forces after the alleged stabbing attack, but Manasra was sentenced in 2016, initially to 12 years in prison.

This was subsequently reduced to 9.5 years and a fine of over $47,000 which his family struggled to raise.

Manasra denies all charges that he took part in any attack and was famously interrogated to the point of desperation when he began screaming: “I do not remember, I do not remember, have I gone mad? Get a doctor and let him open my skull to show how I do not remember.”

The Israeli interrogator subsequently told him to be quiet and tortured him with an electric bracelet for hours.

Speaking to The New Arab, Ahmed Zabarka, Manasra’s lawyer, said that the new decision “gives us hope that Manasra’s early release will be considered, especially since he was arrested when he was a child.”

“The Israeli court transferred the appeal submitted to a special committee to discuss it and issue a ruling,” Zabarka said, further adding that that committee will decide whether Manasra had committed a “terrorist act or not.”

The lawyer also noted that “we have come a long way to reach this result (…) and we hope that we will be able to obtain the decision to release him soon, especially since he has served two-thirds of his prison sentence.”

The hearing to review Manasra’s case was held at the Beersheba (Beer Sabaa) district court on Wednesday afternoon.

In an attempt to pressure the Israeli courts for his release, the Global Mental Health Network in the Palestinian Territories launched an international campaign using the hashtag #FreeAhmadManasra.

So far, thousands of Palestinians and other Arab and foreign activists have used the hashtag, sharing several photos, videos, and illustrations to raise awareness regarding his case.

“This online campaign has made us hopeful again that my son may be released soon, especially since he entered prison as a child and is innocent of any charges against him,” Ahmed’s mother, Manasra, his mother, said.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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1 Comment

  1. Yet another example of Israel’s cruelty towards innocent Palestinian children and their families. Wake up world and stop these apartheid actions.

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