RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian activist and former prisoner on Tuesday at the Beit Ur al-Fuqa checkpoint in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank, according to prisoners rights group Addameer.The man was identified as Hasan Karajeh, a former Arab Youth Ambassador and a resident of thevillage of Saffa near Ramallah.Karajeh is a well-known activist who works on youth issues and prisoners’ rights. He is also the youth coordinator for grassroots organization Stop the Wall.He was previously detained on Jan. 23, 2013 and released on Oct. 19, 2014 for his social activism.
His brother Muntaser previously served a 10-month sentence in an Israeli prison, and his sister Sumoud was released from prison in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said at the time of his 2013 arrest that “Karajeh was arrested for suspicion of involvement in a terror organization,” without providing further details.
Muhannad Karajeh, a lawyer for Addameer who represented Karajeh in the past, condemned Tuesday’s detention and slammed Israel’s policy of detaining human rights and civil community activists.The lawyer called on international human rights institutions to organize protests demanding Israel to release Karajeh and other Palestinian prisoners who have been jailed for their activism.
An Israeli army spokesperson said she was looking into reports of Karajeh’s detention.
In recent months, Israel has accused Palestinian leadership of “inciting terror” while also detaining scores of Palestinian civilians and activists over Facebook posts, which Israeli authorities claims have been responsible for an increase in alleged attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli military targets and settlers.
Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.
Karajeh’s detention also comes amid a concerted crackdown on left-wing groups in Israel working for Palestinian human rights in Israel and occupied Palestinian territory.
Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, passed the controversial “NGO bill”
into law on Monday with 57 votes in favor and 48 against, as human rights groups and opposition Knesset members condemned the legislation for seeking to “silence criticism” of Israel and delegitimize left-wing groups.
The legislation compels organizations to reveal their sources of funding if more than 50 percent came from public foreign entities.
Organizations in Israel which rely on public foreign funding also tend to oppose the government’s right-wing policies and human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory.