Trapped between Police and Prison Service negligence and Interior Ministry bureaucracy: Teenager released from prison without his ID card cannot leave his neighborhood. Only following HaMoked's intervention are his personal effects returned
On April 4, 2018, a 16-year-old Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem was released from the Megiddo Prison, where the Israel Prison Service (IPS) holds Palestinian minors who are serving prison sentences
. Having requested the return of his personal belongings, which he deposited five months previously at the time of his arrest, the boy was told that they were not held by the IPS, and were in the hands of the Israel Police. The teenager contacted the police stations in the Russian Compound and in Shu’fat, and was told that the police too had failed to track down his belongings. Thus, the teenager was left without his ID card, mobile phone, and the money and clothing which had been taken off him during his arrest.
On May 3, 2018, the teenager's parents requested HaMoked's help with tracking down the belongings, emphasizing that their son is unable to pass through the checkpoint leading out of the Shu'fat Refugee Camp – where the family lives – so long as he does not have his ID card. While attempting to schedule an appointment for issuing a new ID card at the Ministry of Interior bureau in Wadi Joz
– the only bureau serving the residents of East Jerusalem – the family was told that the earliest available appointment would be at the end of October 2018(!), meaning they would have to wait five whole months, during which the boy would not be able to leave his neighborhood.
Simultaneously, HaMoked contacted the IPS and the Israel Police
in an effort to track down the teenager's belongings, in order to enable him to move freely in his city. And lo and behold: a short time after HaMoked's intervention, the belongings were located in the police station where the teenager was arrested. The items, as it transpires, had not been transferred to the IPS when the boy was transferred to the Megiddo Prison, and both the IPS and the police shirked their responsibility to locate them, until HaMoked intervened in the matter.
After the belongings were located, the teenager's father went to the police station to collect them. However, following a two hour wait, he was asked to return the following day. The items were finally returned to the boy's mother the next day, almost a month after her son's release from prison. And so, following HaMoked's intervention, a 16-year-old minor from East Jerusalem can now realize his right to move freely in his city, with his ID card and personal belongings in his possession.