UNRWA Calls for Immediate Release of Critically Ill Palestinian Child Prisoner

Palestinian child prisoner Amal Nakhleh is suffering from an autoimmune disease that requires regular medication and medical attention. (Photo: via Social Media)

UNRWA called on Thursday for the immediate release of critically-ill Amal Nakhleh from Israeli administrative detention on urgent humanitarian grounds, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Amal Muamar Nakhleh is a 17-year-old Palestinian refugee from the Jalazone refugee camp.

Amal was placed in administrative detention by the Israeli forces for six months on January 21, 2021. The administrative detention was then extended for four months in May 2021 and then again in September 2021 for an additional four months.

Neither Amal nor his family are aware of the charges against him and have been informed by the Israeli authorities that it is a “confidential administrative case.” Amal’s legal team stated that this is one of the most prolonged cases of administrative detention of a child that they have come across.

Amal was born three months prematurely and was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a severe autoimmune disease. This condition requires continuous medical treatment and monitoring. Just a few months prior to his detention, Amal underwent surgery to remove a cancerous mass.

Due to his health conditions, Amal cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 and must take immune-suppressants, meaning that his life is at high risk if he contracts COVID-19.

During the Israeli military court proceedings in the past few days – one of the few times Amal’s family was allowed to see him in the past year – his family observed that Amal had difficulty talking and breathing, both of which are signs that his medical condition has deteriorated.

During the court hearing, Amal informed the judge that he would start a hunger strike if his administrative detention were to be extended further. If he takes this step, Amal would be at grave risk due to his already fragile health condition.

A decision on the extension of his administrative detention is scheduled to be taken next Tuesday.

The administrative detention imposed on Amal without charges and based on classified evidence is a form of arbitrary detention not permissible under public international law.

UNRWA West Bank called for the immediate release of Amal Nakhleh from administrative detention on urgent humanitarian grounds and is highly concerned about the ongoing arbitrary detention of a minor.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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