Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Samaritan marks 8th year in Israeli prison

Samaritans are seen praying on top of Mount Jerzim near the northern West
Bank city of Nablus during celebrations of the Shavuot festival, in 2010. The
Samaritans claim to be the true children of Israel who left Egypt with Moses and
consider themselves the guardians of the authentic Mosaic tradition.
[AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, File]

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A Samaritan detainee from the West Bank marked his eighth year in Israel jail on Wednesday.

Nader Mamdouh, 32, from Nablus, is being treated as a Palestinian and not a Samaritan, his parents told Ma'an.

Samaritans, who number just 700 in two communities in the West Bank and Israel, and derive from an ancient branch of Judaism, have historically received special status from Israeli authorities.

Mamdouh's parents told Ma'an that Nader had been transferred between a number of Israeli jails and was suffering immensely.

He was living in Al-Ain refugee camp in Nablus when he was detained in 2004.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment for affiliation with the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and for taking part in operations against Israeli troops.

The Palestinian detainees center said Mamdouh's parents, who live in the Samaritan community on Jerzim mountain overlooking Nablus, are frequently harassed by Israeli forces.