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Israel releases mother of 18-year-old slain Palestinian after 2 weeks in prison

July 4, 2017 8:46 P.M. (Updated: July 5, 2017 5:51 P.M.)
Ofer prison (File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israel’s Ofer military court in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah ordered the release of Zeinab Ankoush, the mother of 18-year-old Palestinian who was shot dead last month after carrying out a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem, on Tuesday after she was detained two weeks ago.

Ankoush, the mother of Adel Hassan Ahmad Ankoush, was detained amid an Israeli military crackdown on the families of three alleged Palestinian attackers -- also including Baraa Ibrahim Saleh, 18, and Usama Ahmad Ata, 19 -- and their entire village of Deir Abu Mashaal in the Ramallah district.

According to the Israeli police, Zeinab Ankoush was detained over suspicions of "supporting a terrorist organization and planning to conduct an attack," and for "inciting violence and terrorism" after speaking out about the death of Adel.

Abd al-Nasser al-Nubani, a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), said that Zeinab was released on the conditions that she would pay a bail of 6,000 shekels ($1,705) and sign a third-party guarantee of 20,000 shekels ($5,685) to ensure she attends her upcoming court session.

Al-Nubani added that the court had also forced Ankoush to agree to not releasing any “inciting” statements once released from prison.

Adel Ankoush’s father Hassan was also detained during an overnight raid on June 29.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have continued to implement restrictive policies on Palestinians in Deir Abu Mashaal since it was placed under a military siege immediately following the attack, Israeli NGO B'Tselem reported last week.

“This automatic form of retaliation has become a matter of policy for the military, in a cynical abuse of its power to mistreat civilians,” B’Tselem said.

In addition, family members of the alleged assailants had their Israeli work permits revoked as a punitive measure. B’Tselem reported that this included 50 residents from the assailants’ extended families who were dependent on work inside Israel.

On Tuesday, two of the Palestinian families were handed punitive home demolition notices during an army raid on Deir Abu Mashaal, an expected move after Israeli authorities had immediately taken measurements of the homes following the attack and informed the families their homes would be demolished "soon."

A copy of one of the orders confirmed that the Saleh house would be demolished. However, it remained unclear which of the three homes in Deir Abu Mashaal was spared a warrant, or if the house -- belonging to either the Ankoush or Ata families -- would receive one at a later date.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, a total of 22 people, the three mens’ family members, will be left homeless by the demolitions.

B’Tselem has condemned the practice of punitive home demolitions and work permit confiscations as "court-sanctioned revenge" carried out on family members who have not committed crimes, amounting to collective punishment.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the three alleged assailants have continued to be held by Israeli authorities, as Israel is known to withhold Palestinian bodies from their families for extended periods of time after they have carried out an attack, alleging that funerals of “martyrs” -- Palestinians killed by Israeli forces -- encourage “incitement” against the Israeli state.

However, Palestinians have long claimed that the policy is a form of "collective punishment," targeting the families of actual or alleged Palestinian attackers, while also preventing families of slain Palestinians from requesting proper autopsies on their loved ones, as the bodies returned are often damaged and disfigured.
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