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Israel forces arrest community leader in Issawiya

Israeli soldiers stand guard in Issawiya, East Jerusalem on 19 December 2012 [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]
Israeli soldiers stand guard in Issawiya, East Jerusalem on 19 December 2012 [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

Israeli forces on Sunday arrested a prominent community organiser in Issawiya, occupied East Jerusalem, reported NGO Ir Amim.

Muhammad Abu Hummus remained in detention at the time of writing, ahead of a hearing today.

According to Ir Amim, Abu Hummus, a local leader and residents’ representative in Issawiya, “was pulled from his bed in the middle of the night and arrested by Israeli police forces based on unfounded claims of incitement and support of terrorism.”

In fact, as the NGO noted, Abu Hummus is “a well-known activist and community leader who plays a central role in the nonviolent civil resistance to Israeli policies in East Jerusalem.”

READ: Israel arrested more than 500 Jerusalemites in July

Because of his activism in Issawiya in particular, Israeli police have targeted Abu Hummus on a number of occasions. Only a few months ago, Abu Hummus sued the police for false arrest, which concluded when the police agreed to pay him 4,000 shekels ($1,137) to drop the lawsuit.

After Abu Hummus was arrested early Sunday, police requested a five-day extension of his arrest at Jerusalem Magistrate Court, on the grounds of preventing obstruction of the investigation.

The judge rejected the request, and ruled that Abu Hummus could be released on the condition he remains outside Issawiya until 1 September. However, the police appealed the decision, forcing Abu Hummus to remain in jail overnight.

Yesterday, the Jerusalem District Court heard the appeal and decided to hold an additional court session today to hand down a final ruling.

Israeli police have targeted Issawiya with violent raids and various forms of collective punishment for the past two and a half months.

READ: Schools to suspend in Jerusalem’s Issawiya

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