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Israel renews administrative detention of Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal

Dec. 15, 2016 8:57 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 15, 2016 9:48 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities Monday extended for the third time prominent Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal’s administrative detention -- internment without charge or trial -- for an additional three months, according to a statement released Tuesday by prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

According to Addameer, Nazzal’s detention was extended once again despite the fact that his second renewal was on Nov. 21 when Israeli authorities extended his detention for one-and-a-half months, as the imprisoned journalist was expected to be released on Dec. 24.

Nazzal, a member of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, was detained by Israeli forces in April and placed under Israel's widely condemnded policy of administrative detention, where he launched a hunger strike on Aug. 4.

Nazzal said at the time that his decision to begin a hunger strike was to protest his own administrative detention, as well as that of fellow prisoner Bilal Kayid.

Nazzal’s wife Marilyn told Arabic media outlet Wattan News that Nazzal ended his hunger strike on Aug. 22..

In August, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS) announced that the group would organize a solidarity sit-in to support Nazzal.

Members of the International Federation of Journalists also declared their support at the time for journalists held in administrative detention, and had plans to officially demand that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu release all Palestinian journalists held without charge or trial from Israel’s prisons.

Israel has stepped up a crackdown on Palestinian journalists and media organizations since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel last October. While the Israeli authorities have said those targeted were responsible for incitement against Israel, rights groups argue the crackdown is a blatant violation of media freedoms.

Israel’s policy of administrative detention, almost exclusively used against Palestinians, has been widely criticized by rights group which have accused Israel of using the policy to erode Palestinian political and social life by detaining scores of Palestinians without proof of wrongdoing.
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