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Israeli court extends detention of Palestinian assailant's family members

Aug. 17, 2017 8:50 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 18, 2017 10:24 A.M.)
Omar al-Abed
JENIN (Ma’an) -- An Israeli military court extended the detention of imprisoned Palestinian Omar al-Abed’s family members for five more days on Thursday, after reports emerged that the detained relatives would be charged with “failing to prevent a crime” after al-Abed stabbed three Israeli settlers to death last month.

The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said in a statement that an Israeli military court in Israel’s Ofer detention center had decided to extend the detentions of al-Abed’s family members -- including his father Abd al-Jalil, his mother Ibtisam, his brothers Munir and Khalid, and his uncle Ibrahim.

The committee also noted that the Israeli court had decided to postpone the trials for al-Abed’s relatives until Monday in order for them to finish interrogations.

Omar al-Abed, 19, is currently imprisoned by Israel after breaking into the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish on July 21 and carrying out a deadly stabbing attack. He was shot and moderately wounded by a neighbor of the victims and subsequently detained following the attack.

On Wednesday, Israeli daily Haaretz reported that al-Abed’s detained relatives would be charged with “failing to prevent a crime.” Sources told Haaretz that the family members had been aware that al-Abed was planning the attack, and did not intervene to stop it.

Israeli forces detained Ibtisam al-Abed on Sunday, two weeks after she was last released from Israeli prison after Israeli forces detained her for a week following the deadly attack.

Ibtisam was detained by Israeli forces for the first time last month over accusations of "aggravated incitement" due to a video in which she allegedly praised her son's actions, saying she was proud of him and hoped for his release.

Israeli forces also demolished the home of the family on Wednesday, as part of Israel’s widely condemned punitive home demolition policy carried out on families of alleged or actual Palestinian assailants.

Some Israeli ministers and a relative of the three slain Israelis have demanded that al-Abed be executed for the killings, despite Israel having only officially carried out the death penalty once since the state was established almost 70 years ago. The man executed at the time was Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi war criminal who played a major role in organizing the Holocaust.

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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