An Israeli military court has ordered that a well known Palestinian journalist is to be held for four months without trial or any charges, under the country’s controversial ‘administrative detention’ law.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said onMonday said Omar Nazzal is being held on suspicion of “unlawful activity” for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a small PLO faction that has been labeled a terrorist organization by Israel.
Nazzal, 53, was detained on April 23 at the border between the occupied West Bank and Jordan, where he had been scheduled to fly to an international journalism conference in Bosnia.
Monday’s verdict came on the eve of the World Press Freedom Day, which Palestinians have been using to denounce the Israeli regime.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), called for immediate intervention “to ensure Israel is accountable for the blatant and planned escalation against Palestinian media.”
According to the PJS, Israeli prisons are holding 19 other Palestinian journalists and students of journalism, one of them for over 20 years.
Tel Aviv has also shut down severalPalestinian television and radio stations since last October amid escalating tensions in the occupied territories. More than 210 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since then.
Israel also arrested a leading Palestinian scientist on Monday according to alaraby.co.uk:
Israeli authorities ordered Palestinian astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi to be held in administrative detention until 24 June, according to a statement by his family.
The renowned 53-year-old professor of space physics at al-Quds University in East Jerusalem was arrested at an Israeli military checkpoint, near the village of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank on 24 April.
He had been returning home to a nearby village.
Barghouthi was previously arrested in 2014 while passing though the Israeli-controlled border with Jordan on his way to a conference in the United Arab Emirates.
The leading scientist was interrogated about material he had posted on Facebook. Protests from scientists worldwide led to his release from prison a month later.
Barghouti is a leading researcher, publishing frequently in academic astrophysics journals, and has previously worked for NASA.