An Israeli court yesterday extended the detention of Mustafa Kharouf, a Palestinian photojournalist who works for Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, in the West Bank.
The Central Court in occupied East Jerusalem announced its decision to extend the 32-year-old’s incarceration on 31 March, a statement released by his family and lawyer said.
Kharouf’s detention has been extended to 5 May, the statement said, adding that the Israeli authorities were trying to expel Kharouf based on what they said was “secret information” which they did not disclose.
Adi Lustigman, Kharouf’s lawyer, said he will appeal to the decision at the Israel High Court.
For the last 20 years, Israeli authorities have consistently refused to grant Kharouf a long-term residence permit, forcing him to obtain tourist visas each year.
On 22 January, Kharouf was arrested by Israel Police. Since then he has been held at a deportation centre for illegal foreign migrants.
Since Kharouf was born in Algeria, Israeli prosecutors are calling for his expulsion from the West Bank to neighbouring Jordan, even though his family hails from Jerusalem. He does not hold full Jordanian citizenship.
He has worked for the Anadolu Agency as a photographer since August 218.
According to Israel’s Internal Affairs Ministry, 14,630 Palestinians have had their residence permits rescinded in recent years.
In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, which is classed as “occupied territory” in international law.