12-year-old female Palestinian stabber to get early prison release

(JTA) – A 12-year-old Palestinian girl who confessed to planning a stabbing attack will be released early from prison.

The Israel Prison Service announced Monday that because of her “young age,” the girl, who was arrested in February outside a West Bank settlement, will be released on April 24, six weeks before she was initially scheduled to be freed, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

The case, according to the AP, drew attention to the disparate criminal justice systems that Jews and Palestinians face in the West Bank: Israeli citizens under age 14 cannot be imprisoned.

After pleading guilty to attempted manslaughter, the girl was sentenced to 4 1/2 months in prison. Last week, her family appealed to military and prison officials for an early release.

“Prison is not a place for a small child,” said Abeer Baker, one of the girl’s lawyers. “If it was a Jewish girl, she wouldn’t stay in prison for even one hour because it is forbidden according to the Israeli law.”

The girl, who comes from a village near Hebron, is one of many Palestinians under the age of 18 who have perpetrated or attempted to perpetrate terror attacks in recent months.

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