A court hearing held in Ashkelon, Tuesday, resulted in the decision to extend the detention of four Flotilla detainees who are prominent Arab Israeli citizens. The Arab Israeli detainees are Sheikh Raed Salah, the Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel (north); Sheikh Hamad Abu Daabes, the Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel (south); Muhammed Zeidan, the Chairman of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel; and Lubna Masarwa of the Free Gaza Movement and Al Quds University.
These activists were arrested off of the Marmara, one of the ships sailing in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which was attacked by the Israeli navy Monday morning. The four Arab Israelis will be represented by Adalah Attorneys Hassan Jabareen and Orna Kohn.
While the nearly 700 foreign activists who were on the ships will be deported, it is unclear what will happen to the four Arab Israelis who participated, Israeli media reported. Although Israel has continued to refuse to release information about who was killed or injured in the commando raid on the Flotilla, Israeli officials confirmed that none of the four Arab Israelis were killed or wounded.
After the Israeli attack, and subsequent media and communications blackout implemented by the Israeli military, rumors floated that Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah had been killed or injured, but Salah appeared at his court appearance unharmed on Tuesday afternoon.
Palestinians inside Israel make up 20% of the population of what is now Israel, and Israeli officials have called these Palestinians with Israeli citizenship a ‘demographic threat’ whose growth rate threatens the ‘Jewish character’ of the Israeli state. Recent legislation passed by the Israeli Knesset calls for the expulsion of any Palestinian-Israeli who is considered to have loyalties to anything other than the Jewish state, and some legislators and Cabinet members have called for required ‘loyalty oaths’ by these indigenous residents of what is now Israel.