Israel re-arrests freed Palestinian prisoners in new policy
I-24 NEWS – Israeli authorities are exercising a new policy of extending the detention of Palestinian prisoners after their scheduled release date, according to accusations leveled by human rights and prisoner support groups. These groups say that Palestinians are either being rearrested and placed under administrative detention after their release, or are simply not released at all even after they have served their sentence, Haaretz reports.
In both circumstances, the groups claim, Palestinian prisoners are effectively being kept in prison without trial.
Prisoner support groups say that the case of Bilal Kayed illustrates the alleged new policy. Kayed, who was due to be released just over two months ago, was issued with a six-month administrative detention order on the last day of a 14-year sentence he had served in jail. He has been on hunger strike since, a period approaching the 70-day mark.
In response, the Israeli government claims that Kayed is still a threat to Israel, although will not provide specific details, saying that the evidence for his rearrest is classified.
Kayed has apparently been offered a deal by the Israeli authorities in which they will let him out of jail if he agrees to stay out of the West Bank for four years, according to his lawyers. Kayed, who comes from a village near Nablus in the northern West Bank, refused the offer, Haaretz reports.
Kayed is currently hospitalized at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon and is chained to his bed, according toHaaretz. The hospital was recently the site of a protest against his ongoing detention that resulted in clashes between Israeli right-wingers and Palestinians, with several arrested from both groups.
A separate case cited by Haaretz is that of Iyad Alharimi, originally from Bethlehem, who finished serving a 14-year sentence and was also rearrested and placed under administrative detention.
Alharimi also began a hunger strike on July 13 and is currently in Ramle prison’s medical infirmary. Israel again cited classified evidence as the reason for his administrative detention.
In a third case, Sufian Abdu, a resident of Jabal Mukaber, completed a 14-year sentence after plotting to poison diners at a Jerusalem café. He, too, was rearrested days after being released, Haaretz reports. According to police, his rearrest was based on his alleged support for a terrorist group.
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