JERUSALEM - An Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinian American teenager Wednesday to two weeks in prison for throwing rocks at Israeli forces, the military said, in a case that has drawn attention to Israel's system of military detention of Palestinian minors.
Israel's military said a juvenile military court convicted Mohammad Khalek, 14, of throwing stones, along with other Palestinians, at Israeli security forces April 2. It said Khalek confessed to the stone-throwing and reached a plea bargain for a fine of about $830 and a total of 31 days in jail, including the time he was held awaiting sentencing.
Mahmoud Hassan of the Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer said that taking into account the time Khalek already spent in prison, he would likely be released Sunday.
Critics said the case of New Orleans-born Khalek was typical of Israel's policy of military detention for Palestinian minors, which the United Nations said last month gravely and systematically violates their rights.
The youth's father, Abdelwahab Khalek, said his son was taken into custody early April 5 by eight soldiers. They shackled and blindfolded his son as his five siblings watched, he said.
The military said the youth threw rocks at vehicles on a highway and at Israeli forces on several occasions.
Randa Wahbe, an advocacy officer with Addameer, which is legally representing Mohammad, said he told her in court that he was interrogated for hours, and at one stage he was pushed so hard that his dental braces were broken. She says he was told by interrogators that if he confessed to rock-throwing quickly, he would be released.
A military spokesman said no complaints of abuse were filed.