Following Two Weeks of Detention, Police Release Two of Three Detainees Without Filing Charges


Today, Israeli police released two Palestinian citizens from the Arab village of Kufr Manda, Saleh Hassan Bushnaq, 18, and Addel Jamil Abed el Halim, 40, following two weeks of detention.  The police originally arrested Mr. Bushnaq and Mr. el Halim together with a third man, Assad Alem, in late October under suspicion of illegal assembly and publishing seditious material.  They were also accused of distributing announcements on behalf of the Hamas movement during demonstrations commemorating the one-year anniversary of the events of October 2000, during which Israeli security forces killed 13 Palestinian citizens of Israel.  The announcements called for the deaths of Palestinians who collaborate with the Israeli authorities and those who serve in the Israeli police or army.


On 8 November, an appeal was filed by Adalah Staff Attorney Jamil Dakwar on behalf of Mr. Bushnaq to end the detention initially extended by the Akka Magistrate Court.  During the appeal hearing, the police stated that they would release the detainees before their scheduled 12 November hearing, provided that no charges were filed against them.  The Haifa District Court rejected the appeal.


According to the Israeli Penal Code, only the Attorney General has the authority to file an indictment on charges of incitement.  After reviewing the evidence and investigation material submitted by the police, the Attorney General’s office announced that it would not file an indictment against either Mr. Bushnaq or Mr. el Halim.


Although the police have released Mr. Bushnaq and Mr. el Halim, the Haifa District Prosecutor’s Office, under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General, has indicted Mr. Alem on charges that include incitement and solidarity with a terrorist organization. Subsequently, the Magistrate Court of Akka has extended the detention to 14 November, when the Court will consider a request from the Prosecutor’s Office to extend Mr. Alem’s detention until the end of the indictment hearing without bail. Adalah will assist Mr. Alem’s attorney, Fahim Dawoud, in the coming hearings.