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Israeli Occupation Forces Arrest Palestinian Writer Ahmad Qatamesh

Lundi, 25 avril 2011 - 19h16

Monday 25 April 2011


In the early hours of dawn on Thursday, 21 April 2011, a large force of Israeli soldiers and intelligence officers raided the home of the prominent Palestinian writer and academic Dr. Ahmad Qatamesh1 in
Al-Bireh and arrested him.

An hour earlier, Qatamesh’s wife, 22-year-old daughter and two other female relatives, including a 14-year-old child, were taken hostage by Israeli troops in another apartment to compel him to surrender himself. He was led to “Ofer” detention center in Beitunia.
Ahmad Qatamesh was born in 1950 in a cave in Bethlehem to a refugee family expelled during the Nakba from the village of Al-Malihah, near Jerusalem.

Qatamesh earned his diploma in Arabic literature from the UNRWA-run Teacher Training Center in Ramallah.

In 1992, he was arrested by a massive Israeli force in the presence of his then 3-year-old daughter.

Accusing him of being a particularly “dangerous” national leader, the Israeli Shabak tortured and illtreated him for a hundred days, an experience that he articulately exposed in his well-read prison
notes titled I Shall not Wear Your Tarboush (fez).

After the Shabak failed to produce incriminating evidence, however, an Israeli military court issued an “administrative detention” order against him, in accordance with an emergency law that allows Israel to detain for renewable terms anyone under its jurisdiction without charges, trial or access to the charges against him/her. This unjust procedure was
repeatedly condemned as a violation of internationally accepted standards of justice by leading human rights organizations, including Amnesty International. Qatamesh’s detention was renewed
continuously for almost six years, making him the longest serving administrative detainee ever.

In April 1998, after a persistent public pressure campaign by Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights activists and organizations, Qatamesh was finally released.

Ahmad Qatamesh earned his master’s degree and later his PhD in political science from a Dutch university through distance learning, as he was under a travel ban by the Israeli occupation