Israel extends Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal's detention

Israel extends Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal's detention
Omar Nazzal was due to be released on Monday, but his detention has now been extended by another three months as Israel continues to intensify its policy of administrative detention.
2 min read
20 August, 2016
Nazzal was arrested on April 23 at the border between West Bank and Jordan [Getty]
Israeli authorities have extended the detention, without trial, of Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal by three months, who was due for release on Monday.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners Club said it had been informed by Nazzal's lawyers that the senior journalists' union official would not now be released at the end of his current term, on August 22.

"Israel is intensifying its policy of administrative detention and increasing the extensions of administrative detention," prisoners club spokeswoman Amani Sarahneh told AFP.

"In particular it made this choice in the case of Omar."

His wife Marlene Rabadi posted on Facebook: "We were informed today that Omar's administrative detention has been extended by three months."

Nazzal was arrested on April 23 at the border between the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Jordan, from where he had been due to fly to a European Federation of Journalists gathering in Bosnia.

A military court ordered at the time that he be placed for four months in administrative detention, an Israeli measure allowing suspects to be interned for indefinite periods without charge.

Israel accuses him of "participation in a terrorist organisation".

Its Shin Bet security service said in April that Nazzal, 54, served in a top position at Falestine al-Youm television in Ramallah, which Israel forcibly closed on accusations of incitement to violence.

Nazzal had left the broadcaster several months before his arrest, which Palestinians say is an Israeli attack on the freedom of the Palestinian press.

Israel says Nazzal was detained for "his involvement in terror group activities", not "because of his activity as a journalist".

He has been on hunger strike since August 4 in protest against his detention, and international organisations have called for his release.

The Palestinian journalists' union says that another 19 Palestinian journalists and students of journalism are in Israeli prisons, one of them for more than 20 years.