After holding her for three months in prison, Israeli authorities released on Tuesday the 16-year-old Palestinian girl Nuran Mahmoud al-Balboul, after spending three months in Israeli jails following a successful appeal presented to an Israeli court for her early release, according to Palestinian sources.
The Israeli decision came after Ofer military court held today afternoon an appeal session over Nuran’s detention. Nuran was arrested on April 13, 2016, at Bethlehem checkpoint while heading to al-Aqsa Mosque for allegedly trying to carrying out a stabbing attack.
Nuran’s mother and family members welcomed her at a checkpoint near the village of Beit Sira west of Ramallah, along with Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs head Issa Qaraqe, before they headed to the committee’s headquarters in al-Bireh.
The family then went back home in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Khader in the southern occupied West Bank.
Lawyer Abeer Bakr said on Tuesday that the release came after the Israeli Central Court accepted an appeal presented by the committee for Nuran’s early release.
The committee said in a statement that Nuran was assaulted by soldiers when they detained her, and adamantly refuted the claim that she had a knife in her possession, saying that she was in fact detained for having an argument with a female soldier while trying to enter Jerusalem with her aunt.
Her aunt also denied that Nuran had a knife at the time.
Just two months after Nuran’s detention, her brothers Muhammad and Mahmoud were also detained and remained held by Israel as of Tuesday, leaving their mother alone throughout to Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Nuran’s two brothers, Mohamed and Mahmoud, are administratively held in Israeli jails. They both launched an open hunger strike several days ago in protest against their administrative detention. Nuran’s father was assassinated by Israeli forces in 2008 for allegedly being involved in anti-occupation attacks.
Nuran’s highly-anticipated release came just over two months after Israeli authorities released 12-year-old Dima al-Wawi from custody after she spent two-and-a-half months in Israeli prison for attempted manslaughter carried out at an illegal Israeli settlement.
She is believed to have been youngest female Palestinian to ever be incarcerated by Israel. Violations against Palestinian children in Israel’s military court system are widely documented. According to figures obtained by Haaretz from the Israel Prison Service, the number of Palestinian minors imprisoned for security-related offenses rose from 170 last September to 438 in February, following a wave of unrest that has spread across the occupied Palestinian territory since October.
Al-Wawi had been among five Palestinian children and the only girl under the age of 14 held in Israeli prisons during this period, while no Palestinians under 14 were being held prior to September, the report added.
Only one Palestinian girl had been held in Israeli custody before September, while at least 12 have been imprisoned since.
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, as of May, there were 7,000 Palestinians being held by Israel, 715 of which were held in administrative detention.
Among the total prisoners, 70 were female and 414 were children, including 104 under the age of sixteen.