Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

PHOTOS: 14-year-old Palestinian girl released from prison after 44 days

Photos: Ahmad al-Bazz
Text: Yael Marom

After 44 days in an Israeli prison, 14-year-old Malak al-Khatib has returned to her family. Family members waited for al-Khatib Friday morning at the Jabara checkpoint in Tulkarem.

Malak al-Khatib is greeted by family members as she is released from prison after 44 days, Jabara checkpoint, near Tulkarem, West Bank, February 13, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz)

Malak al-Khatib is greeted by family members as she is released from prison after 44 days, Jabara checkpoint, near Tulkarem, West Bank, February 13, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz)

Al-Khatib, a 9th grader from the village Beitin near Ramallah, was arrested on December 31, 2014 near her school. Soldiers who were passing by claimed they saw her throwing stones, and that they found a knife in her backpack. She was taken to Ofer Military Prison, where she was interrogated and brought before a judge, who decided to extend her detention. Since then, she has been held at Hasharon Prison.

Al-Khatib, who became sick while in prison, was taken time and time again to court hearings at Ofer, including ones that never actually took place. On January 22, Malak’s attorney accepted a plea bargain offered by the military prosecutor, and the court sentenced her to 60 days in prison (including the 22 days she had already spent there), as well as a fine of NIS 6,000. The family claims that Malak was coerced into admitting she threw stones, and that they were unable to visit her throughout her detention.

Malak al-Khatib is greeted by family members as she is released from prison after 44 days, Jabara checkpoint, near Tulkarem, West Bank, February 13, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz)

Malak al-Khatib is greeted by family members as she is released from prison after 44 days, Jabara checkpoint, near Tulkarem, West Bank, February 13, 2015. (photo: Ahmad al-Bazz)

Al-Khatib’s story has raised controversy across the world over the last few weeks, leading activists to start several campaigns for her release. These campaigns eventually lead the military prosecutor to release a detailed statement [Hebrew] explaining why it is reasonable to jail a 14-year-old girl.

According to Ma’an News Agency, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club estimates that 200 Palestinian minors are held in Israeli prisons. Only four are girls, with Malak being the youngest.

Related:
IDF suspends plan to minimize nighttime arrests of children
Detained: Testimonies from Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel
WATCH: Where kids are arrested for not having a mailbox

Election Coverage banner

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Pedro X

      You do the crime, you do the time. She was caught throwing rocks at moving traffic. She was found to be in possession of a knife for the purpose of stabbing an Israeli soldier.

      She admitted the charges and plead guilty to the crimes. Her lawyer and the state prosecutor entered into a plea deal whereby the perp was given a relatively light sentence.

      So why the crocodile tears for this criminal? Is it because she is female? Justice should be blind and male and female criminals should be treated the same.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        “The family claims that Malak was coerced into admitting she threw stones, and that they were unable to visit her throughout her detention.”

        It will always be impossible to know for certain what happened in individual cases, but if you’ been reading about the Israeli justice system…

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          Ya gotta love that “justice should be blind…male and female.” Coming from a Jewish supremacist settler. “Justice should be blind.” Unless you’re Jewish.

          Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        You do the crime, you get punished.

        Like for example you get your hand cut off for stealing, or you get stoned for adultery, or you go to prison for over 40 days for allegedly throwing a stone.

        Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        And of course everyone with a knife in Palestine can only have it because that person wants to stab an Israeli soldier…
        instead of, maybe cutting an apple?

        Reply to Comment
      • “She was found to be in possession of a knife for the purpose of stabbing an Israeli soldier.”

        An inanimate object does not have a purpose in the sense you use. According to this piece, her relatives were not allowed to see her in detention, thereby placing some doubt on any confessed intent, if such there was, as to the knife’s intended use.

        Once again, you limit the power of your advocacy by going beyond what the verifiable facts will support. If you want to be believed, follow the principles of due process.

        Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        “You do the crime, you do the time”. How many Jewish stone-throwing adolescents serve time? Civilised western countries attempt to minimize the use of imprisonment even for adults by supervision orders, probation or community service, and go to huge lengths to ensure that vulnerable teenagers will not be imprisoned, where they will in all likelihood encounter violence and abuse and all the problems associated with having a prison record. Surely Jewishness is about justice, freedom and humanity – how did it ever come to be associated with a country like Israel?

        Reply to Comment
      • Estrella

        Usted Pedro, debe serun troll oficial, en todas loartes esta defendiendo lo indefendible. El racismo, violoncia y aprtheid de esa sociedad facista que esta fomentando el actual gobierno israelita, Le da para comer su triste trabajo??’ Me da pena, trabaje en algo honoroso y con arguementos

        Reply to Comment
    2. C.C. DeVille

      That “relative” in the photo looks suspicious. I bet he is the kind who would remove parts of here anatomy in the name of family honor.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        What a horrible slander – what made that thought occur to you, apart from crazed Islamophobia? (even when FGM has been practiced in Israel it was entirely managed and supervised by women not by male relatives) If he had a son perhaps he would remove part of his anatomy in the name of religious and social conformism, but I imagine you would approve of that form of mutilation. One study of FGM in Israel found that it was once widespread in some Bedouin tribes but universal and far more severe among Ethiopian Jews. Fortunately recent research suggests the practice has been discontinued. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23314088 http://www.irinnews.org/report/83287/israel-bedouins-shunning-fgm-c-new-research)

        Reply to Comment
        • C.C. DeVille

          Why is it Islamophobic? I can’t tell their religion from the photo. Can you

          Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            My comment was not based on the photograph, but on your words (“I bet he is the kind who would remove parts of here anatomy in the name of family honor.”). Now if you are happy to repeat the memes of Islamophobia you can expect to be accused of being Islamophobic. If I said he looks like the sort of guy who would bribe his Congressman or betray his country you would rightly accuse me of antisemitic stereotyping.

            Reply to Comment
          • C.C. DeVille

            You *are* vile anti-Semitic garbage. We don’t need you to make up your own memes to bring that point home.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “That “relative” in the photo looks suspicious. I bet he is the kind who would….”

            What a poisonous little snake you are CC Deville. Your fake horror at “anti-Semitism” when you spew vile anti-Arabism here all the time is proof of what a nasty creature you are. You guys never inhabit your names for long. We know you used to be a slug aka “Sluggo” and now you are impersonating a New York glam rock personality associated with Poison. Poison. How appropriate.

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.C._DeVille

            “At the age of 18, DeVille formed the band Lace in New York, which adopted a highly sexual, “glam” image. It was during this time period that DeVille began writing the song “Talk Dirty To Me”, which would later appear on Poison’s first album, Look What the Cat Dragged In.”

            This is perfect: Look what ICat aka BigCat dragged in: a dirty talking slug who talks all the time about sexual anal penetration. Oh yeah, we’re gonna take YOU seriously. Sure we are.

            Reply to Comment
          • C.C. DeVille

            Ben, sadly we seem to have opposing world views. I, for one, would be more than happy for this misguided young woman to both reach adulthood without having committed more crimes and to have her remain unmutilatrd. If she is able to do so, it will be a result of people who care. You, on the other hand, whitewash crimes and give Machmud the ethical cover to take a knife to her. You should hang your head in shame. I will light a candle for you

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Probably you simply cannot stop yourself from being bigoted, racist and dishonest, but do you believe that spreading bigotry, racism and dishonesty on public forums helps to further the defence of Israel? Go away and think about it and then come back in a different reincarnation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Oh yeah. We take you seriously. Sure we do CC Deville. Anyone notice how CC Deville is trying in his typical snake like way to change the subject? As usual. FROM an innocent 14 year old girl unjustly thrown in prison and not even allowed to talk to her parents TO some fictional guy named Machmud who commits crimes with a knife. It’s called hasbarist distraction. Change the subject at all costs and the more putrid you can get the better because then everyone will lose the point. Because hasbarists hate the truth.

            Reply to Comment
          • C.C. DeVille

            Ben, the girl is not innocent and got her day. There is nothing for me to argue on this point. That you think otherwise makes you a usefull idiot

            Reply to Comment
    3. C.C. DeVille

      Bryan said “If I said he looks like the sort of guy who would bribe his Congressman or betray his country you would rightly accuse me of antisemitic stereotyping.”

      No Bryan, you are not subtle or clever. These are not anti-Semitic stereotypes. They are, however, your projection of anti-Semitism. And please don’t sent and links about AIPAC or Pollard which are undoubtedly your next steps. I exposed your M.O.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Dawson wylie

      The world is too rushed to deem just punishment anylonger. if your child stole a generation ago he would serve as a clerk for two weeks and learn some respect, now he would go to juvi and the few dollars of goods they took as an impulsive decision has no merit of value in their minds its as worthless as the parents have made that item to the child if they deem the candy as “just a candy” then that child knows about that much going into the store and if you expect them to empathize with the owner through their teenage mind then you have never been a teenager. How could you judge someone that has not been involved in your rule system yet or who has yet to have been hit with a stone. If i was those soldiers i would have whipped the stone back mid level to the chest, possibly winding her. Go over say sorry and tell her that is why it is wrong someone will get hurt. They will learn not to do that specific thing much faster. Rather than gain so many terrible feelings for the rest of her life just because the law has no gauge or lessons to openly share. a child is throwing stones are you inclined to search them or do you just love searching people?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Click here to load previous comments