For the eight consecutive time, Israeli prison authorities renewed the administrative detention orders against the elected mayor of Qalqilia, Wajeeh Qawwas, and this time for additional three months.
Qawwas was arrested on August, 22, 2002, and was placed in Ofer detention facility since then.
This interview was conducted with Qawwas over phone by the Palestine News Network PNN;
Qawwas said that Israel is apparently interested in inflaming the situation in the Palestinian territories. “It is imprisoning elected leader, and figures and practicing repeated violations by siding the will of the Palestinian people”, he said, “It is not interested in the truce, and is trying to avoid the release of the Palestinian detainees in any peace deal”.
“The occupation uses the administrative detention orders as a means to pressure the Palestinians, and bar the detainees from receiving their rights”, Qawwas said, “Most of the administrative detainees were arrested for their political background without facing any charges”.
Commenting on renewing his administrative detention orders, Qawwas said that the occupation is trying to disrupt the work of Qalqilia municipality, especially after Hamas won all of its 15 seats.
Abdul-Raheem, the twelve-year-old son of Qawwas, said while trying to comfort his ailing grandmother that his father will be released soon, but she doesn’t trust the occupation.
The sister of Qawwas was also hoping to see him again, but sickness and death were faster.
The acting director of Qalqilia municipality, Hashim Al Masry, said that renewing the administrative detention orders against Qawwas for the eight time, without any charges, is a violation of the international law.
“We asked all of the foreign delegates which visited us, including the British Consul and the head of the Red Cross Society, to impose pressure on Israel to release the elected mayor”, Al Masry said, “He received the highest votes, he is an elected mayor, but Israel does not respect democracy”.
“We cannot stand still without doing anything, we are contacting local and international parties in order to release our mayor”, Al Masry said, “We also demand the Palestinian Authority to practice pressure on Israel and campaign in order to release the elected mayor, and expose the Israeli violations to every aspect of the Palestinian life, including the Palestinian democracy”.