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Israel arrests Palestinian rights lawyer after anti-Abbas protest

Independent Commission for Human Rights says Farid al-Atrash was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint east of Jerusalem.

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A Palestinian human rights lawyer has been detained by Israeli forces after participating in a demonstration in the occupied West Bank against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, his rights group held.

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) issued a statement that Farid al-Atrash was halted at an Israeli checkpoint east of Jerusalem while recurring from a protest against the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah.

Al-Atrash was relocated to Israel’s Hadassah Hospital and called for his instant release from Israeli police custody.

Rendering to the commission, al-Atrash was on his way to Bethlehem from Ramallah when the arrest took place. Issa Amro, a prominent Palestinian activist, and friend of al-Atrash, said he was released from the hospital hours later and was still being interrogated by Israeli authorities. It is unclear why he was admitted to the hospital. Neither the Israeli military nor the police made comments on the issue.

Both Amro and al-Atrash have been arrested by Israel in the past for organizing and taking part in protests against Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank.

But Amro said al-Atrash had lately focused his efforts on protesting against the PA over Nizar Banat, an activist who died shortly after being violently arrested by Palestinian security forces last month.

He said another rights lawyer, Mohannad Karajah, who is defending protesters arrested by the PA, was briefly detained by Palestinian authorities on Sunday. Amro himself was also arrested by the PA last month and held overnight, days before Banat died in custody.

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