The Israel's central court of Beersheba extended on Wednesday the solitary confinement of Palestinian resistance icon Raed Salah for another six months, according to his defense lawyer.
“Depending on the Israeli legislation, the solitary confinement must be limited, but it is unlimited for Sheikh Raed Salah,” Khaled Zabarqa told Anadolu Agency.
“He’s in isolation since six months ago, and today the court extended it for another six months which means he will spend a whole year in solitary confinement,” he said.
Salah, the leader of the northern branch of Islamic Movement in Israel, was detained in August 2017 and indicted for incitement over his criticism of the erection of metal detectors at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
He was sentenced to 28 months in prison by an Israeli court. He served 11 months in jail, half of which in solitary confinement before he was moved to house arrest.
In August, Salah returned to prison after two years under house arrest.
“The Israeli court session today was just a formality. It approved what the security services wanted and ignored any real checks for the efficacy of the decision or the truth of their allegations and didn’t care about the effect of the isolation on Salah’s health,” the defense lawyer said.
“Israel is prosecuting Salah for his Ideology and religious beliefs, not because of any criminal offence.”
Born in 1958, Salah is a poet and father of eight children. He started his public work as mayor of Umm al-Fahm, an Arab city in Israel.
As his activities expanded and his anti-occupation speeches were disseminated widely among the Arab citizens of Israel, he was subject to arrests by the Israeli authorities several times.
In 2003, Salah was arrested on suspicion of funding Palestinian resistance group Hamas. Two years later, he was banned by Israel from travel.
In 2010, the Palestinian icon was sentenced to five months in prison for allegedly assaulting Israeli police.
A strong defender of the Palestinian people, Salah has staged a number of protests against Israeli policies and campaigned against the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.
“We believe that Salah is coming under a deliberate psychological torture by Israeli authorities,” Zabarqa said.
Salah’s family was allowed to visit him once monthly, but the Israeli authorities halted the visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also deprived from calling his old mother, 82, since his detention.
“Salah is fully aware of the real goal of the Israeli occupation. Despite their attempts to destroy his spirit and connections, Salah remains strong,” Zabarqa said.
In Wednesday’s ruling, the court judge said that the emblem “Al-Aqsa in danger”, which was released by Salah in 1996, was to blame for attacks against Israeli forces.
“We were surprised by this allegation. The Israeli policies against holy places and Palestinians are the real reason for the Palestinian anger. Salah just described that fact,” Zabarqa said.
“Today’s trial was a piece of clear evidence that the verdicts against Salah are made by the Israeli government not the judicial system,” Zabarqa said.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.