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Israeli court extends detention of 18 Jerusalemite Palestinians

July 31, 2017 9:10 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 1, 2017 1:13 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- An Israeli magistrate court in Jerusalem decided on Monday to extend the detention of 18 Jerusalemite Palestinians until Wednesday and Thursday, citing ongoing “legal procedures and interrogations,” according to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.

PPS identified the detainees, who were all detained from across occupied East Jerusalem during overnight raids between Sunday and Monday, as Muhammad al-Mughrabi, Asaad Jamil Abu al-Hawa, Ali Abu Jumaa, Ahmad Abu Jumaa, Majd al-Sayyad, Muhammad Arafat Abu Sbeitan, Firas Ibrahim Khweis, Muhannad Abu Jumaa, Amir Qarawi, Muhammad Abu Sbeitan, Ahmad al-Zaatari, Amir Maher Abu Jumaa, Muhammad Judah Abu al-Hawa, Fares Abu Ghannam, Muhammad Abed al-Mughrabi, Ibrahim Abu Sbeitan, Hamza Zaki Khweis and Ahmad Marwan Abu Jumaa.

All 18 of the Palestinians, whose ages remained unknown, are from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur, according to Muhammad Mahmoud, a lawyer for prisoners rights group Addameer.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said earlier Monday that 33 Palestinians -- including seven minors between the ages of 13 and 17 -- were detained overnight in the neighborhoods of Wadi Joz, Ras al-Amud, Issawiya, Beit Hanina, the Old City, and Shufat refugee camp -- making no mention of al-Tur.

Al-Samri said the detainees were "key suspects" involved in large-scale protests in past weeks denouncing increased Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli authorities shut down the Al-Aqsa compound for almost three days following a deadly shooting attack on July 14, only to reopen it after having installed increased security measures.

The measures sparked widespread protests in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, as Palestinians said the Israeli move was the latest example of Israeli authorities using Israeli-Palestinian violence as a means of furthering control over important sites in the occupied Palestinian territory and normalizing repressive measures against Palestinians.

After two weeks of protests during which six Palestinians were killed in clashes, the security measures were lifted completely after noon prayers on Friday.

However, at least 100 Palestinian worshipers were detained from Al-Aqsa on Thursday night, just hours after the compound was fully reopened after nearly two weeks of restrictions. Seventy-nine were released hours afterwards, while 21 received bans forbidding them from entering the Al-Aqsa compound for two weeks.

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