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Israeli forces extend the remand of mother and brother of Halamish assailant

Aug. 19, 2017 10:46 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 20, 2017 12:07 P.M.)
19-year-old Omar al-Abed
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court has decided to extend the remand of the mother and brother of 19-year-old Omar al-Abed -- currently imprisoned by Israel after carrying out a deadly stabbing attack in Israel’s illegal Halamish settlement last month.

The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs said that the mother, Ibtisam al-Abed and her son Khalid would remain in custody until at least Monday for further investigation. The two are expected to appear on Monday before an Israeli military court, where Palestinians face a 99.74 percent conviction rate, according to Human Rights Watch.

They were detained from their home in the central occupied West Bank village of Kobar on Sunday. Three days later, Israeli forces demolished their home as further punishment for Omar’s attack.

Following the deadly attack, Ibtisam was 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 Israeli army told Ma’an that Ibtisam and Khalid were suspected of having prior knowledge of the attack, in which Omar broke into a home in the illegal Israeli settlement, which is located adjacent to Kobar, and stabbed three Israelis to death. He was shot and moderately wounded at the scene.

The deadly 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.

Israeli forces have also detained Omar’s father Abd al-Jalil, his uncle Ibrahim, and his 22-year-old brother Munir.

Meanwhile, some Israeli ministers have demanded that Omar 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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