Israel extends imprisonment of youth activist
Published Friday, January 25, 2013
An Israeli military court Thursday night extended the extrajudicial detention of Palestinian human rights defender Hasan Karajah by 12 days as reports of Karajah's torture abounded.
Karajah, a youth coordinator at the non-violent Stop the Wall campaign, was arrested in an early morning army raid on his family house in Safa village near Ramallah Wednesday.
An Israeli squad of roughly 20 soldiers ransacked the house, confiscating three computers and other possessions, and performed a partial strip search on the household's females.
Palestinian prisoners' rights organization Addameer has since reported that Karajah was brutally beaten by the Israeli military, and said on Friday that he would continue to be detained without trial for nearly two more weeks for interrogation purposes.
No charges were laid against Karajah who is currently in the notorious Jalameh interrogation center – dubbed “the slaughterhouse” by Palestinians – near Jenin.
Jalameh is well-known as the military center where Israel transferred several Palestinians to try to physically force them out of hunger strikes, which swept through prisons recently.
Over a thousand Palestinian prisoners held hunger strikes last year to protest against Israel's routine enforcement of administrative detentions, or indefinite imprisonment without trial.
Friends of Karajah say he has been in solitary confinement at Jalameh inside a 2 by 1.5 meter cell.
Karajah's Stop the Wall is a grassroots movement that works with popular committees in West Bank villages, refugee camps and cities that have been petitioning against Israel's apartheid wall.
Over eight villages have been slated for demolition as Israel put plans to expand the apartheid wall into action last year. Nearly 1,500 Palestinians are expected to be displaced.
Karajah's family, like the majority of Palestinian families in the West Bank, is no stranger to detainment. In 2009, Hasan's sister, Sumoud Karajah, was sentenced to 20-year imprisonment, only to be released two years later in a Hamas-Israel prisoner deal.
Hasan's brother, Muntasser Karajah, was arrested on 18 September 2012 and is currently in Israel's Ofer prison near Ramallah.
Over 800,000 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank since Israel annexed the territory in 1967, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Ministry. The UN estimates that more than 70 percent of Palestinian families have had at least one family member arresedt.
The prisoners are mostly male, and the sole breadwinners of their families, according to a 2011 UN report.