Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Fate of Gaza detainees in Israel uncertain as 26 named


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The number and whereabouts of Palestinians detained in Gaza during Israel's ground operation remain uncertain, as a rights group compiled an initial list of prisoners thought to be held by Israel.

The Al-Mezan Center For Human Rights and their lawyer Muhammad Jabarin said Monday that 26 Palestinians are being held in Ashkelon jail.

Jabarin told Ma'an that some of the detainees have been presented with charges such as belonging to an illegal organization -- referring to Palestinian political parties -- while the rest are undergoing interrogation and have been denied access to a lawyer.

At least 15 Palestinians have been held under the Unlawful Combatants Law and then released, the lawyer said.

The law allows the detention without trial of Gazans for an unlimited period of time and provides even less protection than administrative detention orders, which are issued in the occupied West Bank.

Mahmoud Abu Rahma, the director of communications for Al-Mezan, told Ma'an that three prisoners were released Sunday but re-arrested at the Erez crossing. He says the lack of access means it is difficult to establish why those named were arrested and how many more are in jail. more

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