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Arab-Israeli receives administrative detention order

Israeli forces guard a detention centre [Henriette Johansen]
Israeli forces guard a detention centre [Henriette Johansen]

An Arab-Israeli held in administrative detention had his six-month detention order extended for an additional three months last week by ultra-right Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli media reported yesterday.

Administrative detention is almost exclusively used against Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Muhammad Khaled Ibrahim, 20, is one of only two Israeli citizens held under the policy, according to Israel Prison Service (IPS) data cited in Israeli media.

Israeli news outlet Ynet reported that Ibrahim was handed a term of six months in administrative detention on 6 June 2016, which was renewed by Lieberman last week. Ibrahim is reportedly a computer technician from the village of Kabul in the Galilee region of northern Israel.

The widely condemned Israeli policy allows for a detainee to be sentenced for up to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 720 Palestinians were held in administrative detention as of October, while the group also reported that 70 Arab-Israelis were being held in Israeli custody as political prisoners after being formally charged.

IPS data states that there are 534 administrative detainees currently being held in Israel.

Ynet reported that Ibrahim was detained after reportedly making “frequent visits” to Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and for “conducting a religious way of life”.

However, since Israeli authorities are not required to disclose any evidence concerning cases of administrative detainees for alleged security reasons, the reasons behind his detention remain unclear.

Meanwhile, Attorney Mustaf Suheil told Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the order was “puzzling”, considering the Ibrahim’s age, adding that the measure was “unusually harsh” for an Israeli citizen.

According to Haaretz, the family of Ibrahim, alongside local activists, have established a popular committee to launch protests to demand his immediate release. The committee has also reportedly filed an appeal through a district court in Haifa.

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