Israel’s occupation authorities have renewed the administrative detention of a Palestinian MP for the fifth time just 1 day before he was due to be released. The Ahrar Centre for Prisoner Studies and Human Rights reported that the Israelis will continue to hold Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Mohammad Jamal Al-Natsheh for another 4 months. The 58 year old from Hebron has never been charged or found guilty of any crime.
Al-Natsheh was arrested on 27 March 2013 and his family members are shocked at the renewal of his detention. They have been waiting eagerly for his release. The MP was on hunger strike for 60 days last year in protest at the conditions in which he is being held by the Israelis. His wife is only allowed to visit him once a year.
Having served a total of 18 years in Israeli prisons, Al-Natsheh has been arrested 10 times. The longest consecutive period of imprisonment was eight and a half years, from 2001 to 2010.
The Director of Ahrar Centre, Fouad Al-Khafsh, condemned the renewal of Al-Natsheh’s administrative detention. He emphasised the need for serious action on many levels to end the suffering of administrative prisoners in Israeli prisons.
Al-Khafsh pointed out that the occupation authorities continue to detain 17 MPs and 2 ministers. The imprisoned MPs are: the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Abdul Aziz Duwaik; Hassan Yousef, Mohammad Jamal Al-Natsheh, Bassem al-Za’areer, Hosni Al-Borini, Abdel-Jaber Al-Faqha, Hatem Qafisha, Nizar Ramadan, Mohammed Maher Bader, Abdul Rahman Zeidan, Azzam Salhab, Riyadh Raddad, Naif Rajoub, Samir Al-Qadi, Khalil Rabei, Ahmad Sa’adat and Marwan Barghouti.
The Palestinian ministers being held by Israel are the Minister of Local Government in the tenth government, Issa Al-Jabari from Hebron, and the Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Wasfi Kabha, who was arrested in mid-June last year.