The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the campaign of arrests being carried out by Palestinian security services against Hamas supporters in the West Bank. The Centre calls upon the governments in Ramallah and Gaza to immediately cease all forms of arbitrary arrests, and to release all political prisoners on both sides and without delay.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR over the past two weeks, Palestinian security services have waged a sporadic arrest campaign against activists and supporters of Hamas in Hebron, in the southern West Bank. The campaign has targeted university students, staff members of Islamic charities, and a journalist. Some of the targeted persons were detained by the General Intelligence Service (GIS) and the Preventive Security Services (PSS), and an undisclosed number remain in detention.
- On 13 October 2008, the GIS arrested Amjad Mohammed al-Hammouri (35), a dentist, from his house in al-Mahawer neighborhood in the north of Hebron. He remains in custody without charge.
- On 16 October 2008 journalist Alaa Jaber al-Titi (26), from al-Arroub refugee camp north of Hebron, was summoned to Hebron by the PSS, who subsequently detained him. On 21 October, the District Court of Hebron ordered the extension of his detention for 15 days, charging him with “Working on inflaming turbulence and reinforcing fragmentation,” and “Working for an illegal satellite channel (al-Aqsa) that has been banned.” On Monday morning, 27 October, a court hearing was held to consider an appeal for al-Titi’s release. The court rejected the appeal.
- On Saturday evening, 25 October 2008, a joint force of Palestinian security services raided the house of Mohammed Mutlaq Abu Juhaisha, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), who is in detention in Israel, and arrested his eldest son Maath (25).
- On 26 - 27 October, a joint force of Palestinian security services stormed a number of houses in Yatta village. They arrested nine Hamas activists and supporters, including Taleb Musallam al-Najjar (44), his brother and his two sons.
A number of detainees have subsequently been released: however, dozens remain in Palestinian security service detention in Hebron district. PCHR has identified the following individuals as currently in detention:
1) Falah Mohammed Nasser al-Din (45);
2) Hamza Jebril Jwailes (24) university student;
3) Amjad Mohammed al-Hammouri (35) dentist;
4) Saed Salhab (21) university student;
5) Maath Mohammed Edris (22) university student;
6) Wajdi Taha Abu Esnaina (21) university student;
7) Anas Taleb al-Najjar (24) university student;
8) Taleb Akram Abu Esnaina (32);
9) Taleb Mahmoud al-Najjar (44) municipal employee;
10) Ayman Taleb al-Najjar (27), a bus driver of an Islamic school;
11) Tayseer Ali Rabba (45) employee at the Islamic Charity;
12) Fadel Ismail al-Najjar (29), driver for the Islamic Charity;
13) Abdullah Ahmed Buhais (32) secretary of an Islamic school;
14) Bajes Mahmoud al-Najjar (27);
15) Ahmed Mahmoud al-Najjar (38);
16) Eissa Isma’il Saleh (26);
17) Alaa Jaber al-Titi (26) a journalist;
18) Maath Mutlaq Abu Juhaisha (25).
PCHR reiterates its condemnation of all politically motivated arrests and:
1) Reiterates that the Palestinian High Court decision of 20 February 1999, states that politically motivated arrests are illegal, and calls upon all executive parties to respect the High Court decision and refrain from conducting illegal political arrests.
2) Calls for the immediate release of all political detainees held by security services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.