Israel frees disbanded Palestinian Legislative Council head after nearly 9 months

Israel frees disbanded Palestinian Legislative Council head after nearly 9 months

Aziz Duwaik, 75, was arrested by Israeli authorities on Oct. 17, 2023, and sentenced to six months of administrative detention, which he had already served

By Qais Abu Samra

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Aziz Duwaik, the head of the now-disbanded Palestinian Legislative Council, was freed by the Israeli authorities on Thursday after nearly nine months of detention under a "draconian law" with no formal charges brought against him.

Israeli authorities released Duwaik at the ad-Dahiriya military checkpoint in Hebron, south of the West Bank, eyewitnesses told Anadolu.

Duwaik, 75, was arrested on October 17, 2023, and was issued a six-month administrative detention order, which he has already served in prison.

Under Israeli military law, administrative detention is a brutal measure that allows for uncharged detention of a person based on a mere "security threat" for up to six months.

Majed al-Najjar, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners Club, told Anadolu in mid-December last year that Duwaik was in "very difficult" health conditions in southern Israel's Negev prison.

Al-Najjar said at the time that since his arrest, Duwaik had not received proper medical treatment, and his family and children had demanded permission to visit him to check on his health.

He said Duwaik also "suffers from anemia and hemoglobin deficiency due to diabetes," explaining that he had undergone two procedures, including cardiac catheterization and lithotripsy for kidney stones.

Duwaik, from Hebron, became the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council after Hamas won a majority in the 2006 parliamentary elections until Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced in late 2018 that the Constitutional Court in Ramallah had decided to dissolve the council.

* Writing by Rania Abu Shamala

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