Hamas senior Hassan Yousef in Ramallah military court
Hamas senior Hassan Yousef in Ramallah military court
Photo: Reuters
Ofer Prison where Hassan Yousef was held

Israel frees Hamas West Bank leader from detention after 16 months

Terrorist group's co-founder, who has been arrested multiple times in the past, released from Ofer Prison; suspect released from previous 10-month term of imprisonment in October 2018

AFP |
Published: 07.23.20 , 19:10
Israel on Thursday freed a senior leader of Hamas in the West Bank after imprisoning him without trial for 16 months, his son said.
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  • Hassan Yousef, a co-founder of the Palestinian Islamist group, was arrested on April 2 last year at his Ramallah home.
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    Ofer Prison where Hassan Yousef was held
    (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
    "My father was released from the Israeli prison in Ofer, he is now at home and is in good health," his son Owais Youssef told AFP.
    Following his arrest, Yousef, who is considered a top spiritual leader in the terrorist faction, was handed a six-month detention order that was extended for another six months and then for a further four, his son told AFP.
    The 65-year-old, who has been arrested multiple times, had been released from a previous 10-month term of imprisonment in October 2018.
    Israel's administrative detention system allows the internment of prisoners for renewable periods of up to six months each, without bringing charges.
    Hamas senior Hassan Yousef in Ramallah military court Hamas senior Hassan Yousef in Ramallah military court
    Hamas senior Hassan Yousef in Ramallah military court
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Israel says the procedure allows authorities to hold suspects and prevent attacks while continuing to gather evidence, but critics and rights groups say the system is abused.
    Around 350 Palestinians were being held under administrative detention orders at the end of May, the latest data currently available, according to Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem.
    The group said the evidence against detainees was not disclosed.
    Hassan Yousef speaking at Hamas rally Hassan Yousef speaking at Hamas rally
    Hassan Yousef speaking at Hamas rally
    (Photo: Reuters)
    A member of the now-defunct Palestinian parliament, Hassan Yousef is estranged from his eldest son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, who for 10 years spied against his father's movement.
    From 1997 to 2007, Mosab Hassan Yousef worked for the Shin Bet internal security agency, before relocating to the United States, where he lives under a new identity.
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