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Israel extends detention of Palestinian NGO worker

Aug. 27, 2017 7:49 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2017 6:39 P.M.)
Addameer's field researcher Salah Hammouri detained by Israeli forces during raid on Aug. 23, 2017 (Credit: Addameer)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have extended the remand of Salah Hamouri, a human rights defender and field researcher for Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer.

The NGO said in a statement on Sunday that a judge at the Israeli magistrate's court in Jerusalem extended Hamouri's detention for an additional three days for further interrogation.

Addameer said that one of its attorneys, Mahmoud Hassan, has submitted an appeal against the extension.

Hamouri 32, who holds dual Palestinian-French citizenship, was detained during an overnight raid on Wednesday from his home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab.

An Israeli police spokesperson told Ma'an at the time that he was "not familiar" with the case.

According to Addameer, Hamouri was a former prisoner of Israel for seven years, and was released as part of the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoners exchange deal in 2011.

Addameer said that the East Jerusalem resident was banned from entering the occupied West Bank until Sept. 2016, and that his wife is currently banned by Israeli authorities from entering the occupied Palestinian territory or Israel.

The group said it considers the detention “an attack against Palestinian civil society organizations and human rights defenders.”

"It also constitutes one arrest in the context of continuous arrest campaigns against Palestinians,” Addameer said, demanding Hamouri’s release and the release of all Palestinian political prisoners.

Hassan Safadi, a Palestinian activist and media coordinator for Addameer, has also been held in administrative detention -- Israel’s controversial policy of imprisonment without charge or trial -- for more than a year.

Safadi has been held by Israel since May 1, 2016 after being detained at the Allenby Bridge between the occupied West Bank and Jordan, when he was interrogated by the Israeli army for 40 days.

Israeli authorities later sentenced the 25-year-old Palestinian to six months of administrative detention in June 2016, and has since renewed the administrative detention order twice -- once in December and a second time in June this year.

Israel’s widely condemned policy of administrative detention allows internment without charge or trial in maximum six-month long renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

According to Addameer, 6,128 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of July, 450 of whom were held in administrative detention. The group has estimated that some 40 percent of Palestinian men will be detained by Israel at some point in their lives.

decision to extend Hamouri's detention period. Hamouri, who was arrested by occupation forces in a pre-dawn raid on 23 August 2017, has been under interrogation for five days.

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