HEBRON, Israel, April 24 (UPI) -- Israel released a 12-year-old girl after she was held in prison for 2-1/2 months.
Dima Al-Wawi, who is from the town of Halhoul near Hebron, was arrested for allegedly planning to stab Israelis in the Hebron area. She was sentenced to 4 1/2 months in prison and fined 8,000 Shekels ($2,000).
Israeli minors under 14 are not given prison sentences but separate military law allows for Palestinians as young as 12 to be sent to jail. She was the youngest prisoner ever held in an Israeli prison, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Last weekend, Israeli authorities informed her family she would be released Sunday. They received her at the Jbarrah checkpoint near Tulkarem.
According to the indictment, the girl was apprehended outside the Karmei Tzure settlement and confessed to planning to stab a Jew with a knife. She was released two months before the end of her sentence after a public appeal by her parents, lawyers and other activists.
A total of 438 Palestinian children were held in Israeli prisons in February, up from 170 last September, according to Israeli Prison Service figures quoted by the Israeli daily Haaretz. According to the report, five of those children were younger than 14.
The report noted a growing number of young female prisoners in a wave of stabbings, car-rammings and gun attacks.