Palestinian youth organizer Daoud Ghoul was among 14 Palestinians seized overnight by Israeli occupation forces, one week after his release from Israeli prison. Ghoul, 33, is the director of youth programs for the Health Work Committees and the Kanaan Network of Palestinian civil society organizations. He has been subject for over two years to repeated Israeli harassment and intimidation. His home was raided at 4:00 am and his personal belongings and electronics confiscated; he is currently being held at the Moskobiyeh interrogation center in Jerusalem.
On Sunday, 27 November, Ghoul was released after serving an 18-month sentence, accused by the Israeli occupation of affiliation with a “prohibited organization,” the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. After a visit to Brussels, Belgium in November 2014 in which he presented before the European Parliament about Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Jerusalem, threats to Palestinian life in the city, and attacks on Palestinian health workers, he was banned from his home city of Jerusalem by an Israeli military order. He was then banned from the West Bank and from international travel, and was forced to move to Haifa from his hometown of Silwan in East Jerusalem. On 15 June 2015, he was seized by occupation military forces one month after his HWC Jerusalem office was forcibly closed by the occupation military.
After serving his 18 month sentence ordered against him by a military court, Ghoul was welcomed last Sunday by his friends and family and by supporters around the world who had long demanded his release. The sudden re-arrest of Daoud Ghoul one week after his release recalls similar cases like that of student Bahaa al-Najjar, released from administrative detention in early November only to once again be imprisoned without charge or trial one week later, or Bilal Kayed, ordered to six months in administrative detention without charge or trial immediately following the expiration of his 14.5-year sentence.
Ghoul’s case is also similar to those of other youth activists persecuted by the Israeli occupation, as well as part of the ongoing attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem, including mass arrests, harsh sentencing of children and the stripping of Jerusalem IDs of Palestinian Legislative Council members.
Ghoul was among six young Palestinians, many former prisoners, arrested in Jerusalem last night. All of their computers and mobile phones were confiscated and Amjad Abu Assab said that the pretext of “incitement via social media” was cited in at least some of the cases. Among those arrested were Uday Abu Saad and Mohammed Salah of Shuafat refugee camp, Jihad Amira and Amin Hamad from Sur Baher, and Saleh Muhaisen from the village of Issawiya, in addition to Ghoul.
Three more Palestinians from Qabatiya, south of Jenin, Mahmoud Abu Ein, Louay Ziad Zakarneh and Musa Abdel-Salam Kamil, were seized by occupation forces, as were Bilal Anas Abu Eid and Munir Hussein Briggah of al-Khalil. More Palestinian young people were arrested in Jericho and in Beit Fajar, south of Bethlehem.