Palestinian parliamentarian among 42 seized by Israeli occupation forces

Photo: Omar Abdel-Razak, via Asra Media Office

Palestinian parliamentarian Omar Mahmoud Abdel-Razak, 53, was seized by Israeli occupation forces in a pre-dawn raid on his Salfit home on Sunday, 23 July, raising the number of imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council to 12. Abdel-Razak was seized along with at least 41 more Palestinians in a series of violent raids and attacks overnight throughout occupied Palestine in which a number of former prisoners as well as two teen Palestinian girls were arrested.

Abdel-Razak is a member of the Change and Reform Bloc, associated with the Hamas movement. His home was invaded by a large number of occupation soldiers and intelligence officers who ransacked his belongings before seizing him and taking him to an unknown destination. He has spent over 7 years in Israeli prison, most recently held in 2014 in administrative detention without charge or trial.

His arrest follows that of Khalida Jarrar, the leftist feminist parliamentarian and Palestinian national leader who was seized alongside Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees president Khitam Saafin on 2 July. Jarrar, like nine other Palestinian parliamentarians, is held without charge or trial under a six-month administrative detention order.

The Palestinian parliamentarians held under administrative detention are Jarrar, Mohammed Badr, Ibrahim Dahbour, Mohammed al-Tal, Hassan Yousef, Ahmad Attoun, Ahmad Mubarak, Azzam Salhab and Mohammed Jamal Natsheh. Jarrar is a member of the Abu Ali Mustafa Bloc while the others are members of the Change and Reform bloc like Abdel-Razak.

Fellow imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarians include two of the most prominent political leaders serving lengthy sentences: Ahmad Sa’adat, 63, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine serving a 30-year prison sentence after he and his comrades were abducted by Israeli forces attacking a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho in 2006, and Marwan Barghouthi, prominent Fateh leader serving five life sentences and imprisoned since 2002.

The arrests on Sunday morning and late Saturday night especially targeted former prisoners, with a number of the 42 Palestinians seized having been imprisoned before in Israeli jails, including Abdel-Salam Jamal Abu al-Hija, Ashraf Daraghmeh, Jaafar Arouj, Nidal Abu Sneineh, Ahmad Khalayleh, Alaa Zaaqiq, Mohammed Ikhlayyil and Nidal Abu Remaileh.  Four children from Jerusalem, including two teenage girls, Tamara Abu Laban and Alaa Ruwaidi, both 16, who were detained and accused of “incitement” on social media. Their detention has already been extended until Tuesday, along with that of the two imprisoned boys, Hassan Abu Najma and Hamza Abu Khater.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network condemns the ongoing attacks and arrests targeting Palestinian leaders and the entire Palestinian people as a means of attempting to suppress the Palestinian struggle for liberation carried out by the settler-colonial Israeli apartheid regime. We demand the release of all imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarians and all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.