Jordanian Detained by Israel Hospitalized After 35 Days on Hunger Strike

Heba al-Labadi was held by Shin Bet for over a month; began hunger strike in protest of administrative detention, which frees authorities from need to issue indictment

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Israeli activist protests the continued detention of Heba al-Labadi, Habima Square, Tel Aviv, October 27, 2019
Israeli activist protests the continued detention of Heba al-Labadi, Habima Square, Tel Aviv, October 27, 2019Credit: Meged Gozani
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Heba al-Labadi, a Jordanian woman who has been held in Israel since August 20, was taken to the hospital Monday after 35 days on hunger strike.

Labadi, a Jordanian citizen who also holds a Palestinian identity card, is suspected of contact with a foreign agent and supporting terrorism, Haaretz has learned. She was arrested on August 20 when she arrived at the Allenby Bridge with her mother and aunt on their way to a relative’s wedding in Jenin.

According to her attorney, Raslan Mahajna, she is suspected of meeting with people identified with Hezbollah during trips to Beirut both last year and early this year. While visiting her sister in Beirut, he said, Labadi did meet once with an announcer from the Al-Nour radio station, which is owned by Hezbollah.

Labadi went on hunger strike to protest the administrative detention order against her, which frees the authorities from the need to issue an indictment and back it up with evidence.

The administrative detention order was issued after Labadi was interrogated by Israel’s Shin Bet security service for 35 days. Labadi rejects the allegations, and her lawyer says that despite the harsh interrogation of his client no charges have been filed against her.

Mahajna added that Al-labadi often voices her views against the occupation of the West Bank on social media, but said that doesn’t justify her arrest.

Mahajneh told Haaretz that his client was taken to the hospital after complaining of not feeling well.

Judging by a statement she gave to the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission, Labadi was interrogated by the Shin Bet in the same way four women from Hebron were questioned over a year ago before they were convicted of being members of Hamas and carrying out social and religious activities with the group.

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, which filed complaints on behalf of three of the women to the Israeli Ministry of Justice, determined that this manner of interrogation constitutes illegal torture

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry delivered an official objection to Israel’s acting ambassador in Amman in early October over Israel’s detention of two Jordanian citizens.

The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Sufian Qudah, said the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv has demanded that they be released and to ensure that they be held in adequate conditions until that happens.

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