Israeli Arab slapped with 4-month detention on day of bail hearing

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An Arab Israeli from Umm al-Fahm was put in administrative detention on Wednesday, after he was arrested at his home following violent clashes between Arabs and police at the entrance to the city last Friday.

A court ordered Fathi Jabareen, 44, held without bail until Tuesday morning, when a bail hearing was supposed to take place. Instead, he was slapped with the administrative detention order.

The order, which was signed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, puts Jabareen in detention without trial until October 7.

Attorney Hassan Jabareen at the Supreme Court last year. Jabareen warned of a growing trend in administrative detention orders against Arab citizens.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Jabareen was released from prison in June 2019 after serving a 17-year sentence for membership in a terrorist organization and planning terror attacks during the second intifada (2000 to 2005).

His attorney, Mahmoud Jabareen, said the detention was a very extreme and draconian step, especially with regard to an Arab citizen. “My client finished serving his prior sentence and was released, and now he’s an ordinary citizen. The defense establishment’s behavior is inexplicable, and he plans to argue against the detention,” the lawyer said.

Other than Jabareen, there is one other Israeli Arab currently in administrative detention, as well as 12 residents of East Jerusalem. It’s very rare for such orders to be issued against Israeli citizens, as it’s considered an extreme measure.

On May 17, a 27-year-old Arab Israeli from the Nazareth area was put in administrative detention for four months. The court is expected to hold a hearing on his detention next week.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said it is worried that the renewed use of administrative detentions over the last few weeks is the start of a trend in which Israeli Arabs will be detained on the basis of classified material that they can’t contest in court because they aren’t allowed to see it.