Israeli police detained two Palestinian boys for allegedly planning a stab attack in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon.
A statement from an Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that Israeli police and border guards suspected two boys who were later identified as 12-year-old Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem.
Al-Samri added that police stopped and searched them and found three knives, one hidden in an inside pocket, in addition to a farewell letter written by one of the teens to his family.
After initial interrogation, police determined the teens were planning a "terrorist" attack, al-Samri said.
Shortly after their detention, in a separate incident, a Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces at the entrance of the al-Arroub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank.
The young boys' detention comes after Israeli authorities decided to uphold the one-year detention of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy who has been held since November for allegedly carrying out a stabbing attack with his cousin.
According to prisoners' rights organization Addameer, 406 of the 7,000 Palestinians currently held in Israeli prisons are minors. An estimated 108 of these youths are under the age of 16.
Israel's widespread practice of detaining Palestinian children, sometimes in the same prison facilities as adults, has been criticized as breaching the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel ratified in 1991.
The convention states that "the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time."
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