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Israel detains prominent Palestinian activist Sheikh Kamal Khatib

This file photo shows prominent Palestinian activist Sheikh Kamal Khatib.

Israeli military forces have arrested a well-known Palestinian activist and a former deputy leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel.

Palestinian lawyer Khaled Zbarqal said Israeli troops raided the Arab town of Kafr Kanna in the occupied territories on Tuesday, and arrested Sheikh Kamal Khatib without providing any reasons.

Zbarqal added that Khatib is currently being held at the main police station in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth.

Khatib is a leading member of the Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens, which is an extra-parliamentary umbrella organization that represents Arab citizens in the occupied Palestinian lands.

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.

Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.

Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions in Israeli jails.

According to reports, at least 13 Palestinian lawmakers are currently imprisoned in Israeli detention facilities. Nine of them are being held without trial under administrative detention.

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