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Israel extends administrative detention of senior Hamas figure

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Hassan Yousef, a leader of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council

Israeli authorities have extended the administrative detention of Hassan Yousef, a leader of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, for another six months.

The Palestinian Prisoner Center for Studies (PPCS) reported that Israeli officials took the decision against 60-year-old Yousef, who is a resident of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on Friday.

On October 20, 2015, Israeli military forces raided the Hamas leader’s house and violently ransacked it before taking Yousef away.

They later placed the Palestinian lawmaker under administrative detention for six months. His captor extended the jail term for another six months one day before the previous one was to expire.

It is the fourth time that Yousef has been placed under administrative detention. Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eight, ten and eleven years without any charges brought against them.

The report came only a day after the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) announced that at least 1,700 ill Palestinians prisoners are currently languishing in Israeli jails and detention facilities, noting that 25 of those inmates are suffering from cancer.

It added that Israeli officials are now holding more than 7,000 Palestinians in 22 prisons and detentions across the occupied territories.

The Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs said in a report on April 3 that at least 241 Palestinian children under the age of 18 are currently held in Israeli prisons.

The report stated that 94 Palestinian minors, sentenced on various charges, are incarcerated at the Israeli-run Ofer Prison near the occupied West Bank city of Beitunia, while the rest are being kept in other jails.

Palestinian inmates regularly hold hunger strikes in protest at both the administrative detention policy and harsh prison conditions.

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