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Israel releases detained B'Tselem volunteer

April 10, 2010 12:26 P.M. (Updated: April 11, 2010 7:37 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces released a Palestinian human rights worker late Friday, hours after his arrest in the occupied West Bank village of Bil'in, near Ramallah, his colleagues said Saturday.

Haitham Al-Khatib, a camera project volunteer for the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem and a cameraman for the Popular Committee Against the Wall, was detained for entering a closed military zone, the army said.

B'Tselem, however, rejected the military's explanation. Israel's closed-zone order, instituted last month to stop the weekly anti-wall protests in Bil'in and neighboring Nil'in, does not apply to residents of the West Bank villages, a B'Tselem spokeswoman said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that the army's closed-zone order does not apply to residents.

According to the Popular Committee, Friday's arrest was Al-Khatib's third since 2009.

(This version CORRECTS Al-Khatib's position is B'Tselem camera project volunteer, not field worker.)
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