After demanding that all detained Arab residents of Israel should be
included in any possible prisoners swap deal, the Israeli police,
special forces and Israel's General Security broke on Friday at dawn,
into the office of the Prisoners Supporters Society in Majd Al Kroum,
in the Galilee, and into the house of its director, Moneer Mansour.
The Arabs48 news website reported that at least 40 Israeli police cars and vehicles carrying 200 policemen surrounded the houses of Mansour, who is also a former political detainee, and surrounded the society's office before breaking into the two buildings overnight and searching them.
Also, soldiers confiscated Mansours' laptop and several documents in addition to confiscating the computers, phones, xerox machines, fax, documents and handicrafts done by the detainees. All of the confiscated items were loaded in a camion and taken away.
Mansour was handed an order based on the so-called “emergency law” stating the the society is “outlawed for supporting terrorism”, the order was signed by Israelis Defense Minister, Amir Peretz.
Talking to the Arabs48, Mansour said that what happened was expected since the society has been defending the detainees rights since many years, and represents the detained Arab residents of Israel in Israeli courts.
“This attack came after the society issued a media release calling for including the detained Arab residents of Israel in any prisoner swap deal”, Mansour stated.
He also said that the society will appeal against the Israeli decision.
Hundreds of residents in Majd Al Kroum gathered in front of the house of Mansour expressing solidarity with him and the society.
Besides its role to defend the detainees in Israeli courts, organizing protests and lobbies to pressure the Israeli government, the society also conducts rehabilitation programs for the released detainees.
The prisoners Supporters Society was established in 1980 by donations of Arab families in Israel in order to defend the political detainees.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank, soldiers closed all of the offices belonging to the society after breaking into them in Nablus and Ramallah, in the northern part of the West Bank.
Mohammad Bsharat, head of the Nablus office of the society, said that soldiers broke into the office on Friday at dawn, attacked the guards and confiscated five computers in addition to files and documents before placing a written military order stating that the society is officially closed for two years.
The order was signed by The head of the Israeli army's central command, Major-General Yair Neveh. The society was given 24 hours to appeal.