Israel releases Islamic Jihad leader from prison

Published July 15th, 2015 - 07:13 GMT

Israeli officials have released a leader of Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad after keeping him behind bars for 18 months under administrative detention.

Azzam al-Shweiki, an Islamic Jihad leader in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), situated 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds (Jerusalem), was set free late on Tuesday.

The 55-year-old had been detained on January 15, 2014, and issued with an order of administrative detention for 6 months that was subsequently extended.

The administrative detention allows Israel to imprison Palestinians without charge or trial for months or years.

The development came a day after Israeli authorities released Palestinian parliament member Riyad Mahmoud Raddad from detention after a year of imprisonment.

Amina Tawil, a spokesperson for the Palestine Prisoners Center for Studies, said the 55-year-old Palestinian legislator was freed from Ktzi’ot Prison in the Negev desert, located 72 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, on Monday.

Israeli forces abducted Raddad in a wave of arrests linked to the alleged disappearance of three teenage Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank in June 2014.

Most of the Palestinians detained during Israel’s arrest campaign were members of Hamas resistance movement, including the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Abdul Aziz Duwaik.

Tawil said Israeli officials sentenced Raddad to 12 months in jail after he was charged with “organizing marches in support of the prisoners.”

Over 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly incarcerated in 17 Israeli prisons and detention camps.

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