Palestinian politician given one-year jail term by Israeli court

Published May 26th, 2015 - 05:30 GMT

An Israeli military court has handed down a months-long prison term to the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and ordered him to pay more than a thousand dollars on charges on of delivering a speech at a pro-resistance celebration three years ago. 

On Monday, the Ofer Court in northern Israel sentenced Abdul Aziz Duwaik to 12 months in jail and a fine of six thousand Israeli shekels ($1,550), Arabic-language Palestinian news agency Safa reported. 

The Ahrar Center for Prisoner Studies and Human Rights condemned the verdict, demanding the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners currently being held at Israeli detention facilities, the 67-year-old PLC speaker in particular.  

Fuad al-Khafash, director of the Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO), said the Tel Aviv regime has targeted the Palestinian parliament ever since the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas scored a landslide victory in Palestinian elections in 2006, preventing Palestinian lawmakers from serving their respective nation. 

Khafash named Hassan Yousef, Mohammad al-Natsheh, Hassan al-Bourini, Mohammad Maher, Yousef Bader and Ezam Salhab as some of the Palestinian legislators that Israel holds captive in its jails. 

Israeli soldiers abducted Duwaik in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) early on June 16, 2014. Palestinian sources said the senior Hamas official was taken away after his house in al-Khalil was stormed. 

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have also arrested at least sixteen Palestinians, including a number of teenagers, during separate raids on a number of houses across the occupied West Bank. 

Palestinian security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israeli military soldiers raided the town of Silwan, which lies on the edge of East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and al-Quds on Monday, and detained eleven Palestinians. 

Israeli forces took away five other Palestinians from the entrance gate of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied West Bank. 

In recent months, Israeli forces have frequently raided the houses of Palestinians in the West Bank, arresting dozens of people, who are then transferred to Israeli prisons, where they are kept without any charges.  

There have been many reports about the deteriorating health of Palestinian prisoners held inside Israeli jails.  

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in 17 Israeli prisons and detention camps. Moreover, 540 Palestinians are held without any trial under the so-called administrative detention, which is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.  


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