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Israel to release 3 Jerusalemite Palestinians arrested over population census

Nov. 27, 2017 7:31 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 28, 2017 6:16 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli Magistrate Court decided to release three Palestinian detainees on Monday under several conditions.

Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) Mufid al-Hajj said in a statement that the court decided to release detainees Musaab Abbas, Issam al-Khatib and Aseel Hassuneh on the condition of paying a bail of 1,000 shekels ($285) and a third-party bail of 5,000 shekels ($1,428) for Issam al-Khatib.

Abbas and Hassuneh were ordered the same bail, along with seven days of house arrest.

The three were detained by Israeli forces last week, and according to Al-Jazeera, had their detentions extended because of their "illegal work with the Palestinian Authority (PA).”

Al-Jazeera quoted an Israeli police statement released last week saying it "detained and arrested 17 suspects on suspicion of working with" the PA "following close and secret investigations carried out over the last few weeks, targeting Jerusalemites suspected of violating the Interim Agreement and taking part in activity related to a population census by the PA".

In accordance with the Interim Agreement, PA activity is not allowed in East Jerusalem. Al-Jazeera highlighted that the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) is currently conducting a population census and is believed to have included East Jerusalem in the count, which some reports say was related to the arrest.

In al-Hajj’s statement for PPS on Monday, he said that another condition was also imposed on the released detainees, which was “for them to pledge not to take part in the population census of Jerusalem for 60 days.”

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