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Israel extends detention without trial of two young Palestinian citizens

February 5, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Israeli security forces take positions outside the Israeli-run Ofer prison, in the West Bank city, 5 December 2017 [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]

An Israeli court has approved a request by Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman to extend the administrative detention of two young Palestinian citizens.

Mu’atasem Mahamid, from Mu’awiya village, and Ahmad Mar’i from Ara-Ar’ara, were arrested by Israeli authorities on 23 July 2017, along with a third youth, Adham D’eif (also from Ara-Ar’ara).

A few days later, they were placed under administrative detention, meaning without trial or charge.

While D’eif was released after the end of the six-month order, Lieberman requested an additional three months of administrative detention for Mahamid and Mar’i, to which the court agreed.

The detainees’ lawyers have still not been presented with any of the evidence allegedly held by the Israeli authorities, and have not even been informed of what precise offenses the men have allegedly committed.

Read: Israeli military issued more than 1,000 administrative detention orders in 2017

Hundreds of Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory are held under administrative detention, in orders signed by the Israeli military hierarchy.

It is more unusual for Palestinians with Israeli citizenship to be similarly held without charge or trial, a measure which requires the direct authorisation of the defence minister.