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Israel extends remand of 3 Palestinians, held for more than 1 year without charge

Dec. 25, 2016 7:13 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 26, 2016 1:37 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli courts extended the administrative detention sentences for three Palestinians for the third time in a row Friday and Saturday, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies.

Israel’s policy of administrative detention -- internment without charge or trial for three to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence -- has been widely condemned by the international community as it allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.

The center said that the administrative detention of 54-year-old Ismael Mohammad al-Amsi from al-Fawwar refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron was extended for a further four months.

Al-Amsi was detained on Dec. 13, 2015 at Israel’s Jabaa military checkpoint while he was on his way to work in Ramallah, where he served as the director of the Parisian cooperation section of the PLO Department of Arab Relations.

He was first sentenced to six months in administrative detention, which has since been renewed twice, meaning al-Amsi has spent more than a year in Israeli custody without charges being brought against him.

Al-Amsi also suffers from heart and circulation issues and Israeli authorities have refused to provide him proper medical care, according to the center’s statement.

Meanwhile, an Israeli court also extended the administrative detention of 25-year-old Muhammad Midhat Abdo from the village of Kafr Nima west of Ramallah, for three months.

Abdo was violently detained from his home on Dec. 15, 2015, and taken to Ofer detention center. He was sentenced to six months in administrative detention, which has been renewed twice.

Abdo is a former prisoner who has spent some two years in Israeli prisons previous to his current administrative detention sentence.

Separately, 28-year-old Fadi Abd al-Hakim Abu Dawood’s administrative detention was also renewed for the third time, for six additional months.

Abu Dawood was detained on Dec. 6, 2015, after Israeli forces raided his house in Hebron. He was sentenced to six months in administrative detention, which has been renewed twice.

Abu Dawood is also a former prisoner who spent around five years in Israeli prisons prior to his administrative detention.

Rights groups have charged Israel with using its policy of administrative detention, which is almost exclusively used against Palestinians, as a way of eroding Palestinian democracy and family life, while enabling Israeli authorities to detain Palestinian activists and public figures for extended periods of time without evidence of any wrongdoing.

As of October, Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer reported that 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons, 720 of whom were being held in administrative detention.
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