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Israel: court releases senior Islamic movement official

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]

An Israeli court in Nazareth ordered the release of Sheikh Kamal Al-Khatib on Sunday under strict conditions. The deputy head of the Islamic movement in Israel, has been placed under house arrest, the Times of Israel has reported.

Sheikh Al-Khatib, who is the head of the Freedoms Committee for the Arab community in Israel, has also been ordered to pay a fine of 20,000 shekels ($6,114), is banned from speaking to the media, cannot use the internet and must not deliver a Friday sermon. The conditions have been imposed following two weeks in detention.

The community leader was arrested by Israeli occupation forces at his home in Kafr Kanna in occupied Palestine on 14 May. He was accused of promoting violence during the brutal Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip between 11 and 21 May, when more than 250 Palestinians, including dozens of children and women, were killed, and hundreds of homes and infrastructure were destroyed.

Palestinian citizens in Israel took to the streets during the offensive in solidarity with those being attacked in Gaza. Following the ceasefire, Israel carried out a major detention campaign against Palestinians in Israel for participating in the pro-Gaza action.

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