Israel briefly detains Islamic Movement’s deputy head

Israeli military forces have briefly detained a high-ranking official with the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in 48 Palestine after raiding his house.

Kamal Khatib, the deputy head of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, was arrested after Israeli soldiers raided his family home in the town of Kafr Kanna on Monday evening, one of his sons wrote on his personal Facebook page.

Khatib’s son added that his 53-year-old father was detained on charges of “inciting violence” against the Tel Aviv regime through articles published in Palestinian newspapers as well as posts on his Facebook page.

He was released from detention shortly afterwards but has been ordered not to leave his house for five days.

Last month, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri renewed a travel ban for Khatib and Dr. Yousef Awawda, the head of external relations at the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in 48 Palestine. They had been subjected to a similar ban earlier, too.

On May 8, the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, began a nine-month prison term, which had been handed down to him on charges of promoting anti-Israel hatred.

Salah had during a sermon demanded that Israel stop its restrictions on Muslims to worship freely at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. He had also called for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Last November, Israeli authorities shuttered the offices of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, accusing it of being behind the recent wave of tensions in the occupied Palestinian lands.

The occupied territories have witnessed a fresh bout of tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

More than 220 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of last October. The violence has also killed at least 32 Israelis.


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