Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Israeli court orders continued imprisonment for three Hamas leaders

Date: 27 / 05 / 2009 Time: 16:16

Hamas lawmaker Azzam
Salhab [Ma'anImages]
Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Israeli military tribunal sitting in the settlement of Ofer rejected a petition on Tuesday to release three Hamas lawmakers from prison, instead remanding them to six months administrative detention.

Ma’an learned that Attorney Fadi Al-Qawasmi had petitioned for the release of Nizar Ramadan, Azzam Salhab and Ayman Daraghmah.

The three were abducted by Israeli forces in a series of pre-dawn raids in the West Bank on 19 March. Israel seized 10 Hamas political leaders from the West Bank that morning in an apparent attempt to pressure the group to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Gaza.

Administrative detention is a practice in which Israel holds prisoners without formally charging them with any crime.

Meanwhile sources said that Israel’s intelligence services transferred Hamas lawmaker Khaled Tafesh of Bethlehem from the Negev desert prison camp to a detention center in Ofer for interrogation. Tafesh was also detained in the 19 March sweep.

There are more than 11,00 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, including about 40 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).