Israel Court Rejects Appeal to Free Palestinian Legislator

May 28, 2012 7:50 PM William Temple News Report, Palestine, Prisoners 0
28 May
7:50 PM

On Sunday, Israel’s high court on Sunday rejected an appeal to end the administrative detention of Palestinian legislator Hussam Khader. Khader has been detained without charge or trial since June 2011. He was due to be released on June 1, but an Israeli military commander extended his detention by six months.Jawad Boulos of the Palestinian Prisoners Society told the Ma’an news agency that Israel’s high court decided to uphold the decision to extend the Fateh lawmaker’s detention, but said Khader’s administrative detention would not be extended any further.

But Boulos said the Israeli authorities had previously promised not to extend Khader’s detention.

He added that by refusing to release Khader, Israel was reneging on the deal it struck with prisoners on May 15 to end a mass hunger strike.

Under the deal, Israel committed not to renew the administrative detention of all 322 Palestinians held without charge if there was no new information that required their imprisonment.

Under Israel’s administrative detention policy, prisoners can be held without formal charges for renewable periods of six months. Defendants and their lawyers are not given access to the evidence used to imprison them.

Prisoners rights group Addameer said that after the hunger strike deal it is ‘concerned that these provisions of the agreement will not explicitly solve Israel’s lenient and problematic application of administrative detention, which as it stands is in stark violation of international law.’

Some 27 Palestinian legislators are held in Israeli jails, including 24 held without charge or trial. Many were arrested in 2006 after the Legislative Elections resulted in a victory for Hamas. That democratic result was not accepted by Israel or the West.

Khader has been detained by Israeli forces on 26 occasions and has spent a total of nine years in Israeli prisons, the lawyer said.

The Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Attallah Abu Assabeh also criticized the court’s decision to extend the detention.

Chairman of the parliamentary committee for the defense of refugees, Khader is a known champion of reconciliation with Hamas.

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William Temple

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