Jordanian nationals Heba al-Labadi and Abdulrahman Mar’i released by Israel

Heba al-Labadi and Abdulrahman Mar’i were arrested in August and September and were held in administrative detention despite no charges being filed against them

November 06, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Administrative detention Israel
A demonstrator holding up a picture of Jordanian citizen Hiba Labadi, being held under administrative detention in Israel, during a protest calling for her release, in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: Mohamad Torokman/ Reuters)

Two Jordanian nationals – Heba al-Labadi and Abdulrahman Mar’i – who were held in administrative detention by Israeli for nearly two months were released on November 6, Wednesday, Israeli media reported.

On Monday, Jordan’s foreign ministry and Israeli authorities both announced that they would be released. The duo was held under administrative detention in Israel without charge or trial for more than two months. Huge protests had been held across west Asia demanding the release of the prisoners. The Jordanian government had withdrawn its ambassador from Israel to protest the detention of its two citizens.

 Al-Labadi and Mar’i were arrested on August 20 and September 2 respectively and placed under administrative detention by the Israeli authorities. Heba al-Labadi launched a hunger strike to protest her illegal detention, which entered its 41st day on Monday.  

Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, said on Monday that both the Jordanians will return to their home country “before the end of the week.”  Heba al-Labadi was arrested by Israeli border officials on August 20 at the Allenby Bridge border crossing, while she was traveling with her mother and aunt from Jordan to attend a wedding in the town of Yabad, near Jenin in the occupied West Bank. She was reportedly tortured during interrogation. An Israeli court sentenced her to six months in administrative detention on September 24.

She was recent admitted to a hospital in Haifa after her condition deteriorated due to the hunger strike. She was held in solitary confinement in the Damon prison in northern Israel before being moved later to the Jalameh prison near Haifa. Multiple campaigns were organized in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories recently to exert pressure on the Israeli authorities for her release.

Mar’i was arrested by the Israeli authorities on September 2 while attempting to cross the border to travel to the West Bank to meet his relatives. He has been suffering from brain cancer since 2010 and has undergone several surgeries. He also requires regular medical check-ups and treatment. 

Following the news of their imminent release, the Israeli prison services and the Palestinian prisoners’ club announced that al-Labadi has ended her hunger strike.

More than 500 Palestinians are still being held in Israeli prisons and detention centers under the arbitrary administrative detention law, which allows Israel to imprison Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial.

The article has been updated to reflect the latest developments