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Israel brutally arrests 16-year-old Palestinian in home raid

Outrage grows over Israel's brutal arrest, detention of 16-year-old Palestinian Shadi Khoury
3 min read
28 October, 2022
Shadi Khoury, a 16-year-old school pupil, was beaten, blindfolded, and dragged away bloodied from his family home in a dawn raid in occupied East Jerusalem earlier this month.
Israeli forces stormed Shadi Khoury's home in the early hours of 18 October [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty-file photo]

International clamour is growing over Israel's arrest of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy at his home in occupied East Jerusalem earlier this month.

In the early hours of 18 October, a dozen Israeli soldiers and secret service agents stormed the family home of Shadi Khoury in the city's Beit Hanina neighbourhood.

The soldiers made a beeline for the teenager, beating, blindfolding and handcuffing him before taking him away, leaving a trail of his blood on the floors of their home, according to his family.

Israel, a prolific jailer of Palestinian children, has yet to give a reason for Khoury's arrest, his family said.

He was also interrogated while in detention without a lawyer present, they added.

As worry grows over the school pupil's condition, international lawmakers have spoken up about the teenager's plight.

British MP Layla Moran wrote a letter to the UK foreign minister urging action to help secure Khoury's release.

"It is deeply worrying that Palestinians are being arrested, arbitrarily detained, and refused access to a fair trial. It is especially concerning that this is happening to children," her letter read.

In Canada, parliamentarians Leah Gazan and Matthew Green called on her country's foreign minister to call for his release and to condemn Israel for the detention.

Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said Saturday that she was reviewing reports of Khoury's arrest "with horror".

Israel has imprisoned more than 12,000 children since the year 2000, according to prisoner rights group Addameer.

Among them is Ahmed Manasra, who was detained as a 13-year-old in connection with the stabbing and wounding of two Israelis in an illegal settlement in occupied East Jerusalem in 2015.

Manasra was found guilty of attempted murder in "proceedings marred by allegations of torture", even though the court found he did not participate in the stabbings.

He was initially handed a 12-year jail term as a 14-year-old in 2016, though this was later reduced to nine years and five months.

Manasra has mental health issues including schizophrenia and has spent time in solitary confinement.

A request for his early release was rejected in September.

There were 129 Palestinian children being held in Israeli military detention in September 2022, according to Defence for Children International - Palestine.

By June, some 490 children had been detained by Israel in 2022, a specialist Palestinian Authority body said.

The Khoury family had previously been targeted by Israeli forces, who previously arrested Shadi's parents at their home, according to Haaretz.

The army also raided and shut down two cultural institutions managed by Shadi's parents.