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Director of Al Balad Cultural Association, Banned from Leaving Israel Latin
by Ittijah-Union of Arab Community Based Associa 6:21pm Wed Aug 20 '03

Mohammad Kananeh, Ittijah board member and director of the Al Balad Cultural Association, was informed by Israeli Border Police yesterday that he is banned from leaving the country for the time being.
print article

Ittijah Board Member, Director of Al Balad Cultural Association, Banned from Leaving Israel after Arrest at Palestinian Cultural Summer Camp

Mohammad Kananeh, Ittijah board member and director of the Al Balad Cultural Association, was informed by Israeli Border Police yesterday that he is banned from leaving the country for the time being. The incident occurred when Kananeh was trying to leave Israel for Jordan together with his family for planned vacation. Mohammad Kananeh was unaware of a ban on exit visa imposed on him, and was informed by police that a formal order will be mailed to him in the next days. Kananeh urged his family to continue their journey to Jordan in order to save their holidays. Kananeh’s wife and children are now alone in Jordan, anxiously awaiting the father of the family who had to remain in Israel.

Today’s incident traces back to the arrest of Mohammad Kananeh three weeks ago, in conjunction with the raid on a Palestinian summer camp in Israel organized by the Al Balad Cultural Association, and the arrest of 14 of the organizers. The organizers were suspected of incitement and the spread of hatred and anti-Israeli propaganda, and of promotion for anti-Israeli violence and suicide attacks. Four of the organizers were held under arrest for one week and given a punishment of four days of house arrest. Since then, they have been waiting for their trial. However, they have not heard from the officials since then, and have certainly never been informed about a ban from leaving the country imposed on them.

The Al Balad Cultural Association had declared the named suspicions to be anchorless, solely based on an intentionally incorrect and hostile Israeli television report that had been uncritically adopted by two Israeli newspapers. The theory of an assumed “scandal” also broke down when some of the actions that accusations were based on – especially the flying of the Palestinian flag - were corrected to be entirely legal, though disliked by Israeli officials. Despite the weeklong arrests and the house arrests of four days, and the annunciation of a trial, the police did never present any evidence to the accused: apparently because there is none.

Ittijah regards the ban from leaving the country imposed on Mohammad Kanani, board member of Ittijah and director of the Al Balad Cultural Association, as entirely unnecessary and unlawful, since all suspicions lack basis in the first place, and since Kanani was never given any written legal orders for such a ban. Mohammad Kanani was turned down at the border to Jordan, on his way to a private vacation with his family. We cannot help but considering this as harassment. Harassment and intimidation form the Israeli strategy against Palestinian civil society organizations in Israel, aiming to obstruct their work and to break their civil and peaceful resistance against racial discrimination and a policy of two-tier society. The large-scale raids and arrests at the Islamic Movement and Ansar al Sajeen: Friends of Political Prisoners in May this year lately highlighted this strategy.

Ittijah has committed itself to provide help and assistance for the threatened Palestinian civil society in every possible way, and to hold up the principle of solidarity among the Palestinian citizens of Israel. We hereby declare that we fully stand behind our board member Mohammad Kanani and our member organization, the Al Balad Cultural Association, and that we will do everything in our power to protect them against hindrances and harassments from the Israeli state. Ittijah condemns the decision as an abuse of administrative rule for racist and anti-democratic purposes.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ittijah - Union of Arab Community Based Associations
P.O. Box 9577, Haifa 31095, Israel
Tel. +972-4-8507110
Fax +972-4-8507241
E-mail: [email protected]

www.ittijah.org

www.ittijah.org/

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