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Tamimi Teen Slipped Into Coma Due to Israeli Prison Neglect

World  (tags: Palestinian teenager, violence against children, child prisoners, Manal Tamimi, Addameer, Hassan Abdulkhaleq Mizher Tamimi, Withholding of bodies, Ahmad Safiya, Aziz Awisat, Medical neglect )

- 140 days ago -
Imprisoned Palestinian teenager Hassan Abdulkhaleq Mizher Tamimi was subjected to life-threatening medical neglect by Israeli authorities


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fly bird (26)
Thursday May 31, 2018, 6:03 pm
Imprisoned Palestinian teenager Hassan Abdulkhaleq Mizher Tamimi was subjected to life-threatening medical neglect by Israeli authorities.

Tamimi, 18, has a serious medical condition in his liver and kidneys, which makes him unable to absorb proteins. He requires a strict vegetarian diet, medicines and periodic tests at the hospital.

Israeli authorities provided him with none of that since his arrest two months ago, and his medical condition deteriorated sharply.

As his situation worsened, Israeli authorities refused to transfer Tamimi to a hospital or provide necessary treatment, his relative Muhammad Tamimi told Wattan TV.

Tamimi vomited for four days and slipped into a coma before he was finally transferred from the Ofer prison clinic to Shaare Zedek medical center on 28 May, according to prisoners rights group Addameer.

Tamimi’s family said that the Israeli occupation authorities bore full responsibility for their son’s life.

“My son was supposed to be transferred to a hospital when he started throwing up. The cause of his coma is the fact that he was not provided with any medical service in detention,” his father told Addameer.

The family urged human rights organizations to exert pressure on Israel to treat and release the teenager.

Evading blame

Tamimi’s lawyer Ahmad Safiya visited him in the hospital on Monday.

“When I arrived at the detainee’s room, none of the medical staff were there, despite the apparent severity of his condition, he stated, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club.

“After I called on them, the medical staff immediately placed him on respirators.”

Safiya added that despite a decision by doctors to place Tamimi in intensive care immediately, it took two more hours for the transfer to take place.

Safiya said that Israeli authorities told him they had decided to release Tamimi, having ignored numerous requests to do so earlier.

The prisoners club said occupation authorities appear to have realized the seriousness of Tamimi’s condition and were releasing him only to evade their responsibility for him.

However the prisoners club stated that military authorities held a hearing on Tamimi’s case at Ofer prison on Wednesday and had decided to postpone further consideration of it until 25 July.

Hassan Tamimi is now recovering, his relative Manal Tamimi wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the lawyer Safiya confirmed that Tamimi was out of grave danger and was now stable, but required ongoing intensive medical care.

Tamimi, from the village of Deir Nitham in the occupied West Bank, was arrested on 7 April, approximately one month after he turned 18.

He is part of the extended Tamimi family that is the frequent target of collective punishment, imprisonment and harassment by Israeli occupation forces.

One of its most well-known members, teenager Ahed Tamimi from the village of Nabi Saleh, is currently in Israeli military custody for shoving and slapping a heavily armed occupation soldier.

Another member of the family, Asem Tamimi, was released from Israeli prison after over a year, Manal Tamimi wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Body as a bargaining chip

Meanwhile, Israel is refusing to return the body of Palestinian prisoner Aziz Awisat, who died after being severely beaten in Israeli prison, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s hardline “public security” minister, announced.

Israeli media reported that Erdan was trying to “pressure Hamas to return the bodies of killed Israeli soldiers in Gaza” through his decision, according to Ma’an News Agency.

Israel’s internal secret police Shin Bet and the Israel Prison Service both reportedly oppose Erdan’s decision in fear of Palestinian protests, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to make the final call.

Israel bears full responsibility for the death of Aziz Awisat, Palestinian human rights and prisoner advocacy groups say.

Awisat, 53, was severely beaten by Israeli officers after allegedly pouring hot water on a guard in Beersheba prison on 2 May.

Awisat’s health deteriorated and he suffered a stroke earlier this month. He passed away in a hospital near Tel Aviv on 20 May.

“The Israel Prison Service has adopted a policy of deliberate medical neglect against prisoners and detainees,” Addameer stated.

Dozens of Palestinian detainees have died due to medical negligence since Israel began its military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967.

fly bird (26)
Thursday May 31, 2018, 6:10 pm
Children in Israeli detention suffer scars for life.
25 May 2018

Muhammad Tamimi sat on the couch, occasionally laughing nervously as he described what had happened to him.

“Not that many journalists have come this time,” he said. “Just you and a Palestinian film crew. Hopefully there will not be any more.”

The 15-year-old has been held in military detention three times now, an experience that many Palestinian children suffer and that has healthcare professionals warning of lifelong trauma.

Muhammad’s latest detention came on the morning of Sunday, 20 May, when he went to the supermarket in Nabi Saleh, his village in the occupied West Bank, to buy groceries. He noticed a white car in front of his uncle’s house from which two young men emerged.

When Muhammad approached, the men grabbed him from behind and pulled him into the car.

“They pointed a gun at me, so I would not scream or call for help,” Muhammad said, recounting the short but frightening drive. When they stopped at the military watchtower near Nabi Saleh, he understood that he had been taken by Israeli undercover forces.

There, the military commander in charge of the area of Nabi Saleh and nearby Beit Rima, told his captors to keep him. “He said I would not be going home,” Muhammad recalled.

He was then transported to an Israeli military base near the town of Aboud. “They beat me everywhere, very hard,” Muhammad said. “They were wearing boots, they hit me on my back, my hands, my head.”

The Israeli army handed him over to Palestinian security forces at night, after Muhammad’s family managed to convey to the army that the boy needed to take his medicine.

Scarred for life

Muhammad is still recovering from a head injury he sustained in December last year when an Israeli soldier shot him in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet in protests following the announcement of the US embassy move to Jerusalem.

In the six-hour operation that followed the injury, the surgeons had to remove a large part of his skull to relieve pressure on the brain.

This was the third time the army has detained Muhammad. He was first taken from his home at the age of 13 and served a three-month prison sentence. The Israelis then arrested him again in a night raid in February, just two months after his injury and still awaiting restorative surgery.

“Even if Muhammad is never arrested again, he will be alert every second of his life. Always ready to be taken again,” Murad Amro from the Palestinian Counseling Center in Ramallah explained. “It is the military’s way of teaching children a lesson, inflicting a sort of psychosocial handicap from a young age.”

Addameer, the prisoners rights group, reports that as of April 2018, Israel is holding more than 300 Palestinian children, of whom 65 are under the age of 16.

Statistics gathered by Defense for Children International Palestine find that in 2017, almost 75 percent of detained children reported physical violence during arrest.

Several members of the extended Tamimi family have been detained in the recent past. The most high profile of them is Muhammad’s cousin Ahed Tamimi, who was sentenced to eight months imprisonment in March.

Ahed, then aged 16, was arrested after she confronted Israeli soldiers outside her home in Nabi Saleh last December. The confrontation occurred on the same day that Muhammad was shot in the head.

Murad Amro said that the way a child reacts to the trauma of arrest can vary. The reaction is connected to a number of factors, like socioeconomic background, family dynamics and predisposition.

“However, we generally observe that childhood detention has a severe impact on the functioning of a child and family structure,” Amro explained. “A child after detention is not the same child.”

Deliberate psychological abuse

Samah Jabr is a Palestinian psychiatrist and psychotherapist and an author of the book Derrière les fronts (Behind the Fronts), which deals with the military occupation’s impact on mental health in Palestine.

“Adolescence in itself is a dangerous place,” she told The Electronic Intifada.

Adolescents, she said, are more impulsive. They tend to engage in more high risk activities than adults. In Palestine, those activities are likely to involve confrontations with soldiers “especially because soldiers provoke children,” Jabr added.

“Recently, the Israelis reduced the age of responsibility to 12,” she said, meaning that children at a vulnerable and impulsive age are treated as adults in Israeli military courts.

During every stage of detention, the child experiences a number of shocks. The first is to be taken from home by soldiers and to see that parents are powerless in front of the Israeli military.

“Your parents are the ones that discipline you, try to control your behavior and claim to protect you,” Jabr said. “It is a shock for the child to see that when there is a real need for protection, the parents are helpless.”

Then children often endure severe abuse on the way to the interrogation center. “The child is beaten, humiliated, sometimes bitten by dogs, sometimes soldiers piss on him or her,” Jabr said.

Interrogators also attempt to make children believe that society has betrayed them, Jabr said, for instance by saying a child’s name was given to soldiers by friends or classmates. At the same time, interrogators might try to induce guilt by threatening to demolish the home or harass the child’s siblings.

“Sometimes, they bring belongings from home to the interrogation, just to show the child their ability to reach family members,” Jabr said.

Such psychological pressure pushes many children to sign confessions in Hebrew they do not understand.

When Muhammad Tamimi was arrested last February, he signed a confession within hours of his arrest, stating that his injury was not caused by a bullet but a bike accident. The statement was patently signed under duress and he later told journalists that the soldiers beat him into confession.

Learned helplessness

The psychological pain does not end after release. When a child returns home from prison, there are celebrations. But Jabr explained that children themselves can suffer from the ambivalence of the experience.

“There is a tendency to amplify the child’s sacrifice – to glorify him or her as a hero,” Jabr said. “Meaning there is no space for the child to talk about the pain and shame. Children often feel guilty because they confessed or gave names.”

“The parents themselves also feel guilty, because they could not prevent what happened,” Jabr said. “The whole family system is disturbed by the experience.”

Jabr also emphasized that every child reacts differently to detention. Not all children display symptoms of trauma, and there are countless psychosocial factors at play.

“Some become submissive,” Jabr explained, “others will want to identify with the physically stronger group, the soldiers. Others will be very angry and engage in even more high risk activities. It is the last group that is more likely to end up in prison again.”

Jabr explained that children can come out of prison suspicious of others, as they were told by interrogators that society betrayed them.

The children have learned from the experience that the structures around them cannot protect them. Many find it hard to adapt again and obey social norms and many drop out of school after detention.

For his part, Muhammad puts up a brave front. After three arrests, he is not scared anymore, he told The Electronic Intifada.

His mother, Imtithal Tamimi, tells a slightly different story. Sunday night, for instance, he slept in his older brother’s bed.

“He is afraid to sleep alone,” she said.

Evelyn B (61)
Friday June 1, 2018, 1:56 am
I believe the "12 year old" the age of responsibility ruling only applies to Palestinians ...
Jewish Israelis - even extremist terrorists such as those who are carrying out 'price tag' attacks, killing, burning homes, destroying Palestinian homes and agricultural resources - do not face the child abuse, but are treated as "children" up to their majority.

No wonder the Israeli government is so afraid of visual record of their actions ...
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