Israel releases U.S. physician detained after visiting Jenin
An American relief worker held in an Israeli jail since May 5 after he was accused of having ties to “terrorists” has been released, family members said.
Dr. Riad Abdelkarim was expected to arrive home Monday after flying from Tel Aviv, according to his brother, Dr. Basil Abdelkarim. The two spoke by telephone Sunday morning, according to AP.
A hearing scheduled Sunday for the government to show why Riad Abdelkarim should continue to be held was canceled without explanation, the brother said. "There are no charges, no actions against him," he said.
The physician had traveled to a Palestinian refugee camp on behalf of two medical aid groups. In e-mails, he described his visit to Jenin. "I feel an uncomfortable mixture of sadness, grief, anger and shame. I also feel guilt," he wrote. "My tax dollars helped pay for those bullets."
Israel said they detained Abdelkarim "on suspicion of membership of a terror organization" - the Holy Land Foundation. The Texas-based Islamic charity's assets were frozen in December after President George W. Bush's administration accused it as being a front for Hamas.
Associates said they did not believe Abdelkarim's membership in the group was the reason he was detained. Abdelkarim is a frequent commentator on Middle East issues. (Albawaba.com)
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