A Jordanian woman on a month-long hunger strike to protest her detention by Israel without trial was hospitalized twice in recent days for deteriorating health conditions.
Heba al-Labadi, who is of Palestinian descent, was admitted to Bnei Zion Hospital in Haifa on Thursday, and again on Monday, according to reports. It was announced Tuesday that she had been released.
Al-Labadi received fluids and was returned to the Kishon Prison in northern Israel, where she was held. The Haaretz daily said her condition was monitored by prison medical officials.
Al-Labadi, 32, was arrested on August 20 at the Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and the West Bank “because of suspicion of her involvement in serious security violations,” according to the Shin Bet security service.
She is being held in administrative detention, an Israeli measure that permits detaining people for months without formal charges. Authorities say the measure is used when detailing the charges could endanger the country’s security and expose intelligence assets.
Last week, her attorney Raslan Mahajna told Haaretz that her arrest was tied to meetings in Lebanon with people affiliated with the Hezbollah terror group. Mahajna said that when visiting her sister in Beirut recently, Al-Labadi met with the announcer of the Al-Nour radio station, a Hezbollah media outlet.
Haaretz said Israeli officials believe Al-Labadi was sent to the West Bank to recruit Hezbollah operatives.
Al-Labadi has denied the allegations against her, and 36 days ago launched her hunger strike to protest her arrest and terms of detention.
Family members claim Al-Labadi isn’t a political activist, and say she was tortured by the Shin bet during her interrogation.
According to Mahajna, Al-Labadi has been isolated, abused, verbally assaulted and held in brutal conditions. He alleged that Shin Bet interrogators have attempted to intimidate his client with threats of a long prison sentence and never being allowed to return home.
ברגעים אלו בכיכר הבימה בתל אביב יפו, ולמשך 24 שעות נשב אזוקות, מכוסות עיניים ובתוך "צינוק" שקוף. 'עצורה' מביאה את סיפורן…
Jordan’s Foreign Ministry last week sent a strongly worded letter to the Israeli embassy in Amman, demanding Al-Labadi’s immediate release.
On Saturday, dozens of Palestinians gathered in East Jerusalem to protest Al-Labadi’s incarceration by Israel. According to reports, Israeli security forces broke up the demonstration, scuffled with protesters and made several arrests.
On Sunday, left-wing Israeli activists launched a protest in downtown Tel Aviv against Al-Labadi’s detention. The 30-hour-long protest at Habima Square sought to draw Israelis’ attention to the incarceration conditions of security prisoners by having women sitting in a transparent box handcuffed and blindfolded.
Activists also launched a Hebrew-language Facebook page titled “FreeHiba” with information on her case, which garnered over 2,000 likes in its first few days.
On Monday, the Ofer Military Court heard an appeal for Al-Labadi’s release by her lawyers. Dozens of activists gathered outside the West Bank court to protest her administrative detention.
“The army must immediately release Heba, who doesn’t even know what she is being accused of,” Joint List MK Aida Touma-Suleiman told reporters outside the courtroom. “Administrative detention is a crime.”
After the hearing, Mahajna told Haaretz that he offered the judges a deal that would see Al-Labadi and Abdelrahman Maree — another Jordanian national in administrative detention — released in exchange for a commitment they would not enter Israel or the West Bank for a period of 18 months.
Mahajna said the judges would hand down a decision after consulting with the Shin Bet.
Israeli authorities have yet to publicly comment on Al-Labadi’s case.
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