Human RightsMiddle EastPalestine

Zionist regime extends so-called administrative detention of two Palestinian officials

Israel has extended the custody of two current and former Palestinian officials according to the so-called administrative detention rule, a form of imprisonment in which the individual is never tried and can be held indefinitely.

An Israeli court extended the solitary confinement of Sheikh Ra’ed Salah for yet another six months, the Palestinian Information Center said in a report on Thursday.

A few days earlier, his lawyer Khaled Zabarqa had revealed that the Tel Aviv regime intended to hold Sheikh Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, in isolation under flimsy security pretexts.

“He has been in isolation since six months ago and today the court extended it for another six months, which means he will spend a whole year in solitary confinement,” Zabarqa said.

Israeli security authorities claimed that the Palestinian official could pose a security threat to the regime if he were held with other inmates, his lawyer added.

Zabarqa described Wednesday’s court session as a mere formality, lambasting the tribunal for approving what the security services had requested without looking into the truth of their accusations and not caring about the impact of its verdict on his client.

“Israel is prosecuting Salah for his ideology and religious beliefs and not because of any criminal offense,” the lawyer stressed.

Separately on Wednesday, a court in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds extended the administrative detention of Khaled Abu Arafa, the former Palestinian minister of al-Quds affairs, for another four months, without trial or indictment.

Israeli’s spy agency Shin Bet arrested Abu Arafa, 59, in November last year after summoning him for interrogation at the Ofer detention center near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank.

A week later, an Israeli court in Jerusalem al-Quds extended his detention for several days before issuing an administrative detention order for four months against the ex-minister.

The Palestinian official has so far been in Israeli jail several times. He was banished from Jerusalem al-Quds upon his release in 2014.

More than 350 detainees are under administrative detention, in which Israel keeps the detainees for up to six months, a period which can be extended an infinite number of times. Women and minors are also among the detainees.

Such detentions take place on orders from a military commander and on the basis of what the regime describes as “secret” evidence.

Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years without any charge. Palestinians in administrative detention resort to hunger strikes to force the Israeli authorities to release them.

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