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Israeli court rejects appeal to release family of Palestinian jailed for deadly attack

Aug. 21, 2017 7:54 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 21, 2017 10:33 P.M.)
19-year-old Omar al-Abed
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israel’s military court at the Ofer detention center in the central occupied West Bank again ordered to extend the remand of a Palestinian family, who were detained after their relative, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, broke into an illegal West Bank settlement and stabbed and killed three Israelis in July.

Lawyer from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs’ Fadi al-Qawasmi said that the court rejected an appeal to release al-Abed’s mother, father, two of his brothers, and uncle on Monday, and extended their detentions until August 27, when the court would convene on the case again.

Palestinians face a 99.74 percent conviction rate in Israel’s military courts, according to Human Rights Watch.

Following the deadly attack in the illegal Halamish settlement, Omar’s mother Ibtisam spent a week in Israeli custody over accusations of "aggravated incitement" due to a video in which she allegedly praised her son's actions, before being released on a 10,000 shekel ($2,801) bail, only to be redetained some two weeks after.

The six family members now faces charges of having advanced knowledge of the attack. Meanwhile, Omar, who was shot and seriuosly injured at the scene of the killing, has himself yet to be formally charged for the attack -- but Israeli forces punitively demolished the al-Abed home anyway.

Meanwhile, some Israeli ministers have demanded that Omar be executed for the killings, despite Israel having only officially carried out the death penalty once -- against a Nazi war criminal -- since the state was established almost 70 years ago.

The deadly settlement attack took place on the same day as three Palestinians were killed -- two of them by Israeli police and one by an Israeli settler -- when large-scale civil disobedience demonstrations in occupied East Jerusalem erupted into violent clashes, in which hundreds more unarmed Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces, over heightened Israeli security restrictions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Rights groups have often called Israeli responses to Palestinian attacks a form of “collective punishment” by punishing family members and entire communities that are not accused of wrongdoing.
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