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Arbitrary Arrest of Palestinian Legislative Council Member

Thursday, 07 November 2013 19:33 [28 October -3 November]
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In the past week Al-Haq documented 20 cases of Israeli forces arresting Palestinian civilians across the West Bank, seven of whom were children.

In Hebron, Israeli forces raided the house of Nizar Abdel Aziz Ramadan, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and arrested him.

Hathifah Nizar Ramadan – Dura – Hebron

Hathifah, 23, lives in Sinjer, Dura, in Hebron with his parents and three siblings. His father, Nizar, 53, is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

WF_Image_Nov_7On Monday, 28 October, Hathifah woke up to the sound of knocking at the front door of his home, as well as the sound of glass breaking. Hathifah immediately got up and headed towards the front door. On the way, he saw that the balcony door was open, and realised that the lock had been broken and the glass shattered. Hathifah walked through the door onto the balcony and found four Israeli soldiers standing with his father, Nizar.

The soldiers ordered Nizar to gather all the family members onto the balcony. They warned him that anyone that remained inside the house would be shot. The whole family gathered on the balcony along with Hathifah’s 83-year-old grandmother, who was suffering from a fever at the time. When the family had gathered together, Nizar confirmed to Hathifah that the Israeli soldiers had broken into the house through the balcony.

Approximately 30 minutes later, three Israeli military officers arrived at Nizar’s residence. One of them introduced himself as Captain Nadim from the Israeli Intelligence Service. Captain Nadim took Nizar from the balcony into the house for a few minutes. When Nizar returned to the balcony, he told his family that the captain had informed him that he would be arrested that night.

Shortly afterwards, the three officers left and a military troop comprised of six soldiers arrived at Nizar’s house. Three of the soldiers wore black masks covering their faces and spoke Arabic fluently. They searched the house thoroughly for approximately three hours, while the family remained confined to the balcony.

At approximately 4:00 am, the soldiers arrested Nizar and left. According to Hathifah, the house was left in a chaotic state due to the thorough search conducted by the soldiers. In addition, Hathifah’s grandmother had to be taken to hospital, as her medical condition had deteriorated as a result of being on the balcony in the cold for three hours.

According to Nizar’s lawyer, Nizar is being held in administrative detention. No information was given as to the time period or cause of detention. Nizar has previously been arrested several times by the Israeli forces, totalling 11 years in detention. The longest he had been detained consecutively was for 22 months in 2003, when he was accused of being affiliated with an Islamic student union. (Al-Haq Affidavit No. 9108/2013)

Al-Haq condemns the use of administrative detention by the Israeli authorities against Palestinians, without charge or trial. Under international law, administrative detainees must be informed of the reason for their detention and must have the opportunity to challenge the lawfulness of their detention without delay. Detention that fails to meet these fundamental safeguards becomes arbitrary, and therefore in violation of international law. Al-Haq calls upon Israel to immediately cease its systematic use of administrative detention, which does not meet international legal standards.