Ahmad Al-Bazz writes in Mondoweiss:
Two 15-year-old Palestinian boys, Shadi Farrah and Ahmad Al-Zaatari, were released on Thursday after almost three years of imprisonment by Israeli authorities in different juvenile detention centers.
The two Jerusalemite minors were arrested at a bus stop in the city of Jerusalem in December 2015 and were later accused of “possessing sharp tools and endangering public security”, a claim that the families deny to this day.
Farrah and Al-Zaatari were picked up today noon from two juvenile detention centers in the north by their families and were later taken to the West Bank city of Ramallah where a celebration and a press conference took place, passing through the Qalandiya military checkpoint where activists, friends and relatives were waiting holding posters of the two boys.
“Nobody can truly know the feeling of freedom unless they try prison”, said Farrah at the beginning of the press conference which was organized next to the Arafat’s tomb in the heart of Ramallah city. He added: “the first year was the most difficult one. I was very little and unaware of what is happening around me”.
When Farrah was asked by journalists about some bad moments they had faced, he answered: “we experienced foul language and beating during the investigation stage. For example, they beat Ahmad and he was about to suffocate. I used to stay naked while washing my clothes until they get dry”.
The Fatah Central Committee member, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, connected the case of Farrah and Al-Zaatari to the “wider context of violations against Jerusalemites”. He highlighted that there are many similar cases of prisoners from the city such as the PA’s Jerusalem governor, Adnan Gheith, who has been detained since the 25th of November 2018.
In a press statement given to the conference attendees, the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs indicated that 85,000 Palestinian children were arrested since 2000, and 900 children were detained from January 2018 until the end of October 2018; the equivalent of two to three children a day.