Israel arrests Palestinian governor of Jerusalem al-Quds again

In a repeat, Israeli forces have arrested Adnan Ghaith, the Palestinian governor of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, and put him behind bars.

Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported that Ghaith was detained on Sunday morning when Israeli troops raided his home in Silwan neighborhood on the outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds. 

A video circulating on social media showed the Palestinian Authority official, wearing a face mask, escorted out of his East Jerusalem al-Quds residence by police.

The reason behind the detention remains unclear and Israeli police have yet to issue an official statement.

Ghaith has been arrested by Israel at least 17 times since he took office in August 2018. In his role, he is responsible for overseeing the Palestinian Authority’s activity in the neighborhoods within its jurisdiction on the edges and outside of Jerusalem al-Quds.

On April 5, the Palestinian governor had been detained for “illegal” activities.

His attorney, Rami Othman, said at the time that Ghaith had been arrested primarily due to activity related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Israel prohibits the Palestinian Authority from carrying out political activities in Jerusalem al-Quds.

Three Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) announced in a statement on Sunday that three Palestinian detainees are currently on hunger strike in protest at their administrative detention and in solidarity with cancer-stricken fellow prisoner Kamal Abu Waer, who has tested positive for the new coronavirus. 

Two of the inmates, identified as Odi Shehadeh and Fadi Ghneimat, have been on hunger strike for 27 and 26 consecutive days, respectively, at Ofer Prison, located four kilometers outside the city of Ramallah, protesting their continued imprisonment without any charge or trial.

Administrative detention is a form of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israeli authorities to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months, which could be extended for an infinite number of times.

A third prisoner, Mohammad Abul-Rob, has also been on hunger strike to express support for 46-year-old Abu Waer. 

Israel refuses to hand over body of Palestinian inmate

On July 6, Palestinian prisoner Sa’adi al-Gharably died at the hospital of the infamous Israeli prison of Ramla. The Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission announced the death of the resident of the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City.

Israeli authorities refuse to hand over the body to his family.

“It was not enough for them to imprison my father for 26 years, put him in solitary confinement, and subject him to medical neglect. They want to punish him after his death too,” his son, Suhail, said.

“This doesn’t happen elsewhere in the world. Only Israel withholds the bodies of hundreds of martyrs in mortuaries and cemeteries and refuses to hand them over to their families to bury them.”

Abed al-Naser Farwana, an advocate of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, said that activists and committees have repeatedly appealed to Israeli officials to hand over Gharably’s body, but they have not taken the demands into consideration.

Farwana called for more pressure on the Israeli authorities to release Palestinian detainees with severe health conditions and save their lives before it is too late.

The 75-year-old was suffering from a number of health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure as well as poor hearing and eyesight, and had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently being held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences. Over 500 detainees are under the so-called administrative detention.

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