HAIFA, Monday, May 24, 2021 (WAFA) - Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said Haifa Magistrates Court ordered the release of Sheikh Kamal al-Khateb, who was arrested by Israeli police special forces 10 days earlier in a violent raid on his hometown of Kufr Qanna that left dozens of local Palestinian residents wounded, some of them seriously.
At today's hearing, Israeli police requested that Khatib's detention be extended in order to obtain permission from the Israeli attorney general to file an indictment for incitement offenses.
Adalah General Director Attorney Hassan Jabareen, who represented Sheikh Khatib at today's hearing together with attorneys Hassan Tabajah and Omar Khamaisi, stressed that his arrest was not even legal as Israeli police did not have a court order when they raided his home.
Jabareen also argued before the court that the allegations against Khatib did not justify his arrest. During the hearing, Khatib's defense team presented a video recording of a sermon delivered by Khatib at his mosque earlier on the day of his arrest.
In this sermon, Khatib strongly condemned an attack on an Israeli Jewish civilian who had entered Kufr Qanna. Khatib said in his sermon that if he had been on the scene himself, he would have acted to protect the Jewish individual from harm.
During an earlier 20 May 2021 hearing on the extension of Khatib's detention, the court ruled that without significant progress in the police investigation, there would be no justification for further extension of his detention.
Indeed, Judge Zayed Fallah ruled today that there was no justification for holding Khatib in custody, and ordered his release under house arrest until 28 May 2021, at 08:00. Khatib is also banned from accessing the internet or possessing a device that would grant him internet access until 3 June 2021 at 12:00.
The judge ordered a delay in the execution of the decision until tomorrow, Tuesday, 25 May 2021, at 12:00 and ordered Israeli police to inform the court by today at 16:00 if they intend to appeal the decision. If police do not intend to file an appeal, Sheikh Khatib will be released today.