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Israel renews administrative detention of elderly MP and Hamas leader

February 17, 2014 at 11:17 pm

The Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights has revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities have renewed, without charge or trial, the administrative detention of an elderly MP in the Palestinian Legislative Council and a leader in the Islamic Resistance Movement.

Speaking on behalf of the Foundation, lawyer Osama Makboul explained that the Israeli military commander issued the order at the request of the intelligence services for a further six months in the case of the MP for Nablus City, Ahmed El- Haj Ali, 72. A similar order was issued for lecturer and Hamas leader Dr. Mohammed Ghazal. According to Mr. Makboul, MP Ali was arrested originally on 7 June last year; Dr. Ghazal was arrested on December 7, 2011. Both men will appear before the Israeli Supreme Court on 6 and 7 July to have the order confirmed or reduced.

A researcher at the Solidarity Foundation, Ahmed El-Betawi, said that Dr. Ghazal intends to begin a hunger strike in protest at the renewed detention order; he will also, it is said, refrain from taking any medication.

Dr. Ghazal, 55, is one of the longest-serving professors at Najah National University, where he has worked in the Faculty of Engineering since 1981, publishing many important research papers. He suffers from many illnesses, most notably high blood pressure.

Betawi noted that MP Ali went on hunger strike in the middle of March for more than two weeks in protest at his administrative detention. The Israeli intelligence services broke their promise to release Ali if he ended the strike. At 72, the MP is the eldest prisoner being held under administrative detention. He suffers from hearing loss and has illnesses linked to his urinary tract and prostrate, as well as chronic sinusitis throughout the year.