Israeli Court Shortens Sentence of One of Three Arab Citizens Imprisoned Without Trial

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Israeli Arab leaders Sheikh Raed Salah, Mohammad Barakeh, and Jamal Zahalka(from right to left) await the court decision
Israeli Arab leaders Sheikh Raed Salah, Mohammad Barakeh, and Jamal Zakhalka (from right to left) await the court decision

The Haifa District Court shortened the sentence on Monday of one of three Israeli Arabs from who were imprisoned without trial two weeks ago

Advocate Omar Khamaisi of the Al-Mizan Legal Center announced that while the court shortened one of their sentences from six months to two months, it upheld the other two sentences.

The three individuals were arrested in their homes in Wadi Ara in northern Israel with a warrant signed by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and transferred for further investigation on July 23, ten days after the July 14 attack at the Temple Mount. The attack was carried out by three young men from Umm Al-Fahm, resulting in the death of two members of the Israeli Border Police.

In the past few days the families of the three prisoners made aware that they are under administrative detention. The families explained that the three men are not activists or members of any organization, political party, or religious movement, although they are religiously observant.

Imprisoning Arab citizens of Israeli without trial rarely occurs. As such, activists from within Arab society are concerned that this may become a more common method used against Arab activists and leaders, especially in light of the rhetoric used against Arab public figures following the most recent attack in Jerusalem.

At the beginning of the year, Haaretz reported on the seven month long imprisonment without trial of Mohammad Khaled Ibrahim, a twenty year old resident of the Arab city of Kabul, located southeast of Acre. Ibrahim, a computer technician, was arrested with a warrant signed by the Minister of Defense on June 6 of last year, which was subsequently extended by three months at the beginning of this year. Ibrahim was released in March after the district court ordered his release if no formal charges were presented.