Israeli Army Arrests Palestinian Human Rights Activist, Charges Unclear

Investigators won't say what the activist is accused of, but say will motion court to block meeting with lawyer.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Arrest (illustration)
Police aren't saying what the charges against the human-rights activist are.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

A Palestinian human rights activist from the south Hebron Hills was arrested by Israeli army forces on Tuesday night, and was transferred to the police for questioning.

The police investigators advised his lawyer that they would be seeking a court order denying her permission to meet with the activist. Meanwhile, a gag order has been imposed on the details of the investigation.

The investigators did not disclose the grounds for his arrest to the activist's lawyer.

Members of the activist's family said his arrest involved violence.

According to the suspect's father, the forces surrounded the family's home around 2 A.M. They did not search the house but did confiscate the suspect's phones before taking him into custody.

"We have no idea why he was arrested," the father said. "I know my son is an activist in a human rights group and isn't linked to anything that hurts Israel's security or anyone else."

Meanwhile, two recently arrested activists from Israel's left-wing were expected to be brought before a judge on Wednesday.

One of them was arrested on Tuesday. The other had been arrested at Ben Gurion International Airport last week, on suspicion of delivering information to a foreign agent. The court blocked publication of his details for fear that the investigative process would be disrupted. His remand has already been extended once but the judge, at the Magistrates Court in Jerusalem, warned the police – based on the investigative findings – not to motion for further extensions in this case. Observers expect this person to be released to house arrest on Wednesday, or alternatively, the police may file formal charges.

In response to the developments, Knesset Member Dov Khenin on Wednesday accused Israel's right-wing of waging "a campaign that seeks to intimidate, silence and mark a new, internal enemy that would serve as a replacement to the Iranian threat – a scapegoat for the absolute failure of the government in all arenas."

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