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Israel launches wave of arrests against Palestinians

17 Aug 2016 - 12:07

Israeli forces have engaged in a campaign of arrests and intimidation against Palestinians, including a Palestinian lawmaker and a Hamas official, across the West Bank.

Israeli military forces stormed the al-Am’ari refugee camp, located two kilometers south of al-Bireh in the central West Bank, early on Wednesday, and arrested Hamas leader Sheikh Hussein Abu Kwaik along with four young Palestinian men.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="555"] Hamas leader Sheikh Hussein Abu Kwaik (file photo)[/caption]

Clashes were also reported between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the al-Masyoun neighborhood of Ramallah. At least two Palestinians were injured in the clashes.

Elsewhere in the city of Abasan al-Kabira in the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse a group of Palestinian protesters. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Administrative detention orders

Meanwhile, Israeli officials have issued 38 new administrative detention orders against Palestinians, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council as well as two former hunger strikers.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said on Tuesday that Israeli authorities ordered that Abd al-Jaber Fuqaha, a legislator affiliated with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, be remanded in custody for another three months.

Israeli troops arrested Fuqaha after raiding his house in the al-Masyoun neighborhood of Ramallah on Monday. Palestinian security sources said Israeli troops “aggressively” beat up Fuqaha during the arrest attempt.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="555"] Palestinian Hamas-affiliated lawmaker Abd al-Jaber Fuqaha (C)[/caption]

Israeli forces had detained Fuqaha on multiple occasions in the past. The Palestinian lawmaker drew international attention in 2004 when he took part in a mass prisoner hunger strike to protest his detention.

The PPS added that Israeli officials handed down administrative detention sentences to former hunger-striking prisoners Ayman Tbeish, who has refused to eat for 122 days, as well as Adib Mafarjeh, a resident of the town of Beit Liqya town southwest of Ramallah.

There are currently 7,000 Palestinians being held at Israeli jails and detention facilities, seven lawmakers among them. Three Palestinian Legislative Council members are incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, according to the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

Administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for periods of up to six months, which can be renewed an infinite number of times.

Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.

Palestinian inmates regularly hold hunger strikes in protest at both the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.

Day of Rage protests demanded

Meanwhile, the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe has expressed serious concern about the health condition of hunger-striking prisoner Bilal Kayid, calling on Palestinians to participate in “Day of Rage” protests on Thursday in solidarity with him.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="555"] This file photo shows hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayid.[/caption]

Qaraqe stated that Kayid has been on hunger strike for 56 days in protest at his administrative detention. He is now even refusing to undergo medical examinations.

Kayid was arrested in 2002 and spent 14 and a half years in Israeli jails. On the day he was scheduled to be released on June 13, Tel Aviv decided to expand his imprisonment term for another six months under the administrative detention policy.

The Palestinian man then went on a hunger strike to express his opposition.

By Press TV

Story Code: 227310

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