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Israel: Palestinian party condemns extension of sheikh's detention

Deputy head of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Kamal Khatib speaks during a festival for Al- Aqsa child in Jerusalem, on 5 April 2014. [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]
Deputy head of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Kamal Khatib speaks during a festival for Al- Aqsa child in Jerusalem, on 5 April 2014. [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]

The National Democratic Alliance in Israel, known as Balad, condemned on Tuesday an Israeli court's extension of Sheikh Kamal Al-Khatib's detention, Arab48.com has reported. Al-Khatib is the deputy leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, which is led by Sheikh Raed Salah, who is also in Israeli detention. The movement was banned in 2015 over its leader's active defence of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Sheikh Kamal Al Khatib is the Chairman of the Freedom Committee, part of the High Follow up Committee for Arabs in Israel.

"The terrorist detention campaign being carried out by the Israeli police will not weaken the strength of the Palestinian citizens in Israel or undermine their resilience as they insist on defending Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinians and the Palestinian cause," said Balad. "The unity of the national and Islamic forces and adoption of a united national programme obstructs the Israeli authorities which are targeting Palestinian youths and leaders."

The Alliance statement described the charges levelled at Sheikh Al-Khatib as "fake" and insisted that they are simply part of the political hounding of the Palestinians and their national and political leaders, mainly those in the Islamic Movement.

Balad reiterated its full support for everyone who participated in the dignity uprising and stood beside all the detainees. It called for the immediate release of all prisoners who were imprisoned simply for exercising their right to protest against state aggression.

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