The Israeli Ofer military court rejected the appeal of Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal against his administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, on Tuesday, 12 July. Nazzal, a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, was arrested on 23 April at the Karameh crossing from Palestine’s West Bank to Jordan.
He was on his way to attend the annual meeting of the European Federation of Journalists in Sarajevo when he was seized; the EFJ and its parent organization, to which the PJS is also affiliated, the International Federation of Journalists, have called for Nazzal’s release. Nazzal was ordered to four months in administrative detention without charge or trial; administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable. Nazzal is one of 20 imprisoned Palestinian journalists and 750 Palestinians held under administrative detention. There are a total of over 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Nazzal’s lawyer, Mahmoud Hassan of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, noted that this decision came after the adjournment of the military court’s first hearing on the case, on 3 July, and a meeting between the judge and Israeli intelligence. He emphasized that his detention is coming in the context of his journalistic and trade union activity. Marlene Rabadi, Nazzal’s wife, said that they will continue to appeal the case to the Israeli supreme court. There is an ongoing popular campaign at the Palestinian, Arab and international levels to release Nazzal and the other Palestinian journalists.