A 7th grader under house arrest: Karem, a 13-year-old boy from Hebron, was arrested in late September on suspicion of hurling stones at Israel Defense Forces soldiers. After spending six days in the Ofer Prison, he was placed under house arrest for five months in his uncle's home and can't even go to school.
The boy's relatives say he is in a serious emotional state and is finding it difficult to recover from his days in prison. All he told his family members was that he was handcuffed and chained, and was sometimes left alone in a room or in solitary.
His friends and teachers have been visiting him in a bid to update him on the study program, which he hardly even began.
The boy himself refuses to talk. Asked what he went through during the interrogation and in jail, he responds, "I don't know, I don't know."
Karem's grandmother says his mental state has influenced his health. "You can tell that he is afraid and frightened from his days in jail. He has fungus on his body and his skin has peeled from all the pressure, fear, and nerves. He barely talks. Today we looked for him and found him hiding in the chicken coop because he didn't want to talk to anyone."
According to his grandfather, the family is afraid to send Karem to the doctor due to the house arrest. "If they decide that he violated the house arrest conditions, he may go to jail together with his uncle who signed the bail, and we don't want to take the risk," he explained.
"We hope this problem will be solved. He has been out of school for a month and a half now, and we are concerned. What has he done to deserve this punishment?"
Israel Prison Service Spokesman Yaron Zamir said in response, "The IPS is acting in a professional manner, especially when it comes to minors, while ensuring that they are held together with other detainees, without being tied, and receive proper medical care. This was implemented in this case too."
The IDF Spokesperson's Office said that "according to the law applied in Judea and Samaria, any person who feels hurt by his arrest conditions is entitled to submit an appeal or request for a re-examination, which will be discussed by the suitable court without any delay and in accordance with the incident's circumstances."
Raanan Ben-Zur and Yair Altman contributed to this report
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