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Palestine Urges UN to Help End 'Longest Trial' of Gaza Aid Worker

Palestine Urges UN to Help End 'Longest Trial' of Gaza Aid Worker

Saturday, 28 November, 2020 - 09:00
Palestinian demonstrators take part in a protest in solidarity with Mohammad El Halabi, World Vision's manager of operations in Gaza (Reuters)

Palestine urged the UN to pressure Israel to end the trial of Mohammad al-Halabi, the Gaza manager of World Vision who has been detained for more than four years without a verdict or a fair trial.

Palestine’s representative at the UN Riyad Mansour wrote to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the President of the UN Security Council for this month, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the President of the UN General calling for the release of Halabi due to the lack of evidence against him.

Mansour included in his letter the urgent appeal of Halabi’s father, Dr. Khalil al-Halabi, in which he said the Israeli occupation has been detaining his son since June 2016 without any evidence.

Halabi has been interrogated and tortured by Israeli forces to pressure him for a confession of a crime he did not commit, and has been subject to 124 court sessions, in what has become the longest trial of its kind.

Ambassador Mansour indicated that Halabi was awarded the UN's Humanitarian Hero Award in recognition for his tireless efforts with children in Gaza diagnosed with cancer, noting that he is well known for his wide-ranged humanitarian work.

Mansour appealed to the international community to act urgently to facilitate Halabi’s release from the Israeli prison.

He also reaffirmed the request of the Palestinian leadership for the release of all Palestinians, including administrative detainees, calling for the urgent release of the most vulnerable prisoners, including children, the sick and the elderly.

Meanwhile, a number of West Bank cities witnessed several demonstrations and marches against the occupation practices, despite the cold weather.

In Kafr Qaddum, the Israeli forces wounded four citizens with rubber bullets during an anti-settlement march, which also called for opening the village’s street that has been closed for 17 years.

The coordinator of the Popular Resistance Committees in Kafr Qaddum, Murad Shteiwi, stated that the Israeli army fired bullets and tear gas canisters at the protesters, wounding four of them, including an 18-year-old who was hit in the head.

The protester lost consciousness and was transferred to the hospital, noting that he's in a critical health condition.

Shteiwi pointed out that dozens of citizens suffocated as a result of tear gas canisters fired by the occupation soldiers.

In addition, seven civilians were injured by rubber bullets, and dozens suffocated from tear gas inhalation, during the occupation's suppression of the weekly march in Beit Dajan, east of Nablus.

Eyewitnesses reported that the occupation forces suppressed the protesters as they marched towards the lands threatened with seizure, which resulted in the injury of seven of them with rubber bullets, and suffocation of dozen others.

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