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Israel releases mother of slain Palestinian after 2 weeks in prison

July 6, 2017 2:38 P.M. (Updated: July 6, 2017 5:36 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities freed on Thursday the mother of a Palestinian killed by Israeli forces, two days after ordering that she be released from Israeli custody.

Zeinab Ankoush was detained on June 21 in the wake of a deadly stabbing and shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem carried out by three Palestinians from the village of Deir Abu Mashaal in the central occupied West Bank -- all of whom were shot dead by Israeli forces, including Ankoush’s 18-year-old son, Adel Ankoush.

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

According to 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 Adel’s death.

The Ofer military court ruled on Tuesday to release Ankoush on a 6,000-shekel ($1,700) bail, on the condition that a third party sign a 20,000-shekel ($5,660) bond to guarantee that Ankoush attend future court sessions.

Israeli authorities have implemented 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.

Dozens of family members of the slain assailants -- Ankoush, Baraa Ibrahim Saleh, 18, and Usama Ahmad Ata, 19 -- had their Israeli work permits revoked as a punitive measure.

On Tuesday, two of the Palestinians’ 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."

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 frozen, damaged, or disfigured.
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