Israel extends detention  of Anadolu Agency journalist

Israel extends detention  of Anadolu Agency journalist

Israel extends detention of Anadolu Agency journalist

An Israeli court has extended detention period of Mustafa Kharouf, a Palestinian photojournalist for Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, in the West Bank, denying demand for his release.     

The Central Court in the occupied East Jerusalem announced on April 4 its extension decision for 32-year-old Kharouf, whose hearing was held on March 31, according to a written statement by Kharouf’s family and lawyer.     

The period is extended until May 5, 2019, the statement said, adding that the Israeli authorities were trying to expel Kharouf on the pretext of some baseless allegations which they called “secret information” and did not disclose.     

Adi Lustigman, Kharouf’s lawyer, said he will appeal to the decision at the Israel High Court.      

For the last 20 years, the Israeli authorities have consistently refused to grant Kharouf a long-term residence permit, forcing him to obtain fresh tourist visa each year.     

On Jan. 22, Kharouf was arrested by the Israeli police. Since then, he has been held at a deportation center for illegal foreign migrants.

Since Kharouf was born in Algeria, Israeli prosecutors are calling for his expulsion from the West Bank to neighboring Jordan, even though his family hails from Jerusalem.      

Kharouf has a type of Jordanian passport that only allows him to travel to neighboring Arab countries but does not grant him citizenship or residence rights in Jordan.

He has worked for Anadolu Agency as a photographer since last August.

According to Israel’s Internal Affairs Ministry, 14,630 Palestinians have had their residence permits rescinded in recent years. In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, which international law still regards as “occupied territory.”