Israeli forces arrest 70-year-old Palestinian academic

Israeli forces arrest 70-year-old Palestinian academic
Ahmad Qatamesh had been banned from giving public lectures or taking part in public gatherings.
2 min read
West Bank
18 October, 2021
Qatamesh had been banned from giving lectures or participating at gatherings [Anadolu / Getty]

Israeli forces on Monday arrested a leading Palestinian writer and academic at his home in Ramallah.

Ahmad Qatamesh, a 70-year-old researcher, lecturer, and author of more than 10 books, has spent a total of 14 years in Israeli prisons, mostly in administrative detention, without charge.

Khaled Qatamesh, Ahmed Qatamesh's brother, said that Israeli forces broke into his home at 3 am and asked where his sibling lives.

"I told them they should know since they have arrested him many times already. A few minutes later, they arrested him," he told The New Arab.

Qatamesh was last released from an Israeli prison in August 2020 after spending seven months in administrative detention.

Khaled Qatamesh said that interrogators confirmed to Ahmed that he was arrested at the time because of a lecture he had given to a student gathering at Birzeit University, which Israeli authorities deemed as "incitement".

"When he was released, Israeli authorities banned him from giving public lectures or participating in public gatherings," Khaled said.

In 2011, Qatamesh was arrested and interrogated over a book he had recently published about Palestinian political activism, which was also considered an act of "incitement" by Israeli authorities.

Israel often uses the charge of incitement to arrest or censor Palestinian writers and artists.

In 2018, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was arrested and charged with "incitement" after publishing a poem on her social media page.

Israeli forces also arrested eight more Palestinians across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Monday, including a 14-year-old child.