DAMASCUS, SYRIA (8:30)- The son of a well known Palestinian activist in the West Bank has just been sentenced to 19 months in an Israeli military prison, he was charged with throwing stones and damaging Israel’s illegal separation wall.
Abdul-Khaliq Burnat was sentenced to serve 19 months in Ofer military prison today, having served in administrative detention (held without a charge) for 133 days already.
The military court, several times delayed the court hearings for the teen, insuring that he was held and interrogated consistently between the 10th of December (2017) – date of his arrest – up until today.
Abdul-Khaliq’s family are forced to pay 18,000 NIS (approx. 5,100 USD). He has also been handed a 3 year probation period, to start after his sentence is served. The court stated that he will serve 6 months in prison again if he is involved in any activity that the occupation forces disapprove of.
On the 10th of December, last year, Abdul-Khaliq and two of his friends were travelling between their home village of Bil’in and a neighbouring village, on the way to get pizza for dinner. Instead of returning back to the village with the food, the three boys were ambushed violently by Israeli gunmen. The Israeli troops stopped the car they were travelling in, held the teens at gun point and began to brutally beat them, this was done as they pulled them out of the vehicle, blindfolded the boys and zip tied their hands. The boys were thrown into the back of an Israeli vehicle and transported to Ofer Military Prison, where a torturous interrogation process began.
Abdul-Khaliq was 17 at the time of his arrest, turning 18 in solitary confinement.
This is not the first time Abdul-Khaliq has been arrested and brutalised by Israeli forces, he was shot in the back of the head in late January of 2017, they then brutally arrested him at early hours of the morning in March, whilst he was still recovering from his head injury. Prior to this, Israeli forces had shot both him and his younger brother Mohammed with Rubber coated steel bullets. Abdul-Khaliq’s older brother, Majd Burnat, was also shot through the upper leg with live ammunition, in 2014, almost bleeding to death from his wound.
As it stands, Abdul-Khaliq’s father, Iyad Burnat, will not be permitted to visit his son for the duration of his imprisonment.
Israeli Military courts currently maintain a conviction rate of roughly 99.74%, these courts are only for Palestinians.
Israeli Jews notably are tried in a completely different legal system, when they commit a crime in the West Bank. Israel is also the only state on earth which has legalised the usage of torture against prisoners.
Abdul Khaliq Burnat will join over 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners, held for similar crimes and treated like terrorists for things that barely merit a fine in most countries around the world.