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Group calls for release of senior Fatah official from Israeli detention

Jan. 13, 2018 2:56 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 16, 2018 12:58 P.M.)
Hassan Faraj at a protest
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) released a statement on Saturday calling for the release of Hassan Faraj, a senior leader in the Fatah movement, who was arrested by Israeli forces on Friday during protests in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Faraj, who is a member of Fatah Revolutionary Council and the head of Fatah's youth movement, was arrested during the anti-Trump protest along with Wisam Hamdan, Secretary-General of Fatah in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Jabaa.

In their statement IUSY expressed their “deep concern” over Faraj’s arrest, and called on its member organizations and the international community to “take direct measures in order to end the more than 50 years occupation and apartheid in Palestine.”

“We affirm our full support to the peaceful popular struggle of the Palestinian people in their fair quest for freedom and justice,” the statement said.

Faraj’s arrest comes two weeks after Israeli forces arrested Palestinian activist Munther Amira, the head of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) in the West Bank.

Amira, well-known around the region for his nonviolent activism, was arrested under similar circumstances to Faraj -- during a protest in Bethlehem in front of Israel’s separation wall.

Hundreds of Palestinians, including activists, journalists, women, and minors, have been arrested by Israeli forces since US President Donald Trump announced last month that he was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

According to prisoners rights group Addameer, there were 6,171 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody as of December.

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