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Israel extends detention of Palestinian lawyer for 3 more months, just one day before his release

Palestinian lawyer Salah Hammouri (Photo by the Palestinian Information Center)

Israeli officials have extended the detention of a Palestinian lawyer for another three months, as the Tel Aviv regime is pressing ahead with its so-called policy of administrative detention to keep Palestinians behind bars.

The detention order of French-Palestinian national Salah Hammouri, a researcher at Prisoners' advocacy group Addameer, was extended on Monday, just one day before his release, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

According to court documents sent to his lawyers, the Palestinian lawyer's detention has been extended to September 5.

Hammouri, 37, was arrested in March 2017. An Israeli military court sentenced him to administrative detention after accusing him of belonging to Palestinian rights groups outlawed by Tel Aviv, saying he “endangers security in the region.”

He has spent nearly nine years in Israeli jails in separate arrests. Hammouri was denied entry into the occupied city of West Bank for more than two years.

In November 2021, the Irish-based rights organization, Front Line Defenders. also known as the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, said in a report that six devices used by Palestinian rights activists “were hacked with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware.” Hammouri was one of the six targeted individuals.

In April, Hamouri, along with rights groups, filed a complaint in France against surveillance firm NSO Group for having "illegally infiltrated" his mobile phone with the spyware Pegasus.

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have been apparently incarcerated under the practice of the so-called administrative detention. Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

Palestinians and human rights groups say "administrative detention" violates the right to due process since evidence is withheld from prisoners while they are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted.

The detention takes place on orders from a military commander and on the basis of what the Israeli regime describes as secret evidence. 

Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on the regime to bring the practice to an end.

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