Israel continues to hold human rights activist detained in Hebron

A Palestinian shop front in Hebron, now closed, spray-painted with the Jewish Star of David

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel continues to hold a Palestinian human rights activist from Hebron in detention following his arrest last month after a protest to demand that Israel returns the bodies of Palestinians killed following alleged attacks, a local rights group said Friday.Mohammed Zoghour, spokesperson for local group Youth Against Settlements, was arrested at 2 a.m. on Oct. 28, hours after a mass protest in Hebron to demand that Israel returns the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.Youth Against Settlements said Friday that Zoghour was moved to the Ashkelon interrogation center and has been denied access to a lawyer.No arrest warrant was issued and no clear information has been given about the reason for his arrest.”Youth Against Settlements is deeply concerned about the illegitimate and arbitrary arrest of Mohammed Zoghour, his transfer to the secret service interrogation center in Israel, the denial of contact to his lawyer, and thereby the denial of a fair and legitimate trial,” the group said.On Oct. 29, the human rights activists’ interrogation period was extended for eight days, and then again on Nov. 5 for a further eight days.”The arrest of Mohammed Zoghour comes in the midst of a wave of unjustifiable disproportionate repression of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt),” Youth Against Settlements said.”Over the past weeks Israeli forces have arbitrarily arrested thousands of Palestinians for exercising their legitimate right to take part in the popular struggle against the military occupation of the oPt, Israeli provocations at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and settler violence.”In a hearing on Thursday, Mohammed Zoghour said he had been deprived of sleep and humiliated during his interrogation.Youth Against Settlements have called for his immediate release.Israeli forces detained eight Palestinians, including a lawyer, during a protest in Hebron on Oct. 27 to demand that Israeli authorities deliver the bodies of Palestinians killed by military forces.A total of 33 Palestinian bodies were held by Israel during October, and eleven have since been returned.The refusal to turn over the dead to their families — a policy that Israeli authorities supposedly halted near the end of the Second Intifada — has provoked controversy among Israeli officials and led to mass protests in the occupied West Bank.

Hebron, the largest city in the occupied West Bank, has borne the brunt of violence in recent weeks, with at least one third of the more than 70 Palestinians killed by Israel’s army residents of the district, nine of whom were shot dead in the Old City over the past week.
(Source / 06.11.2015)

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