Israel Extends Detention of Islamic Jihad West Bank Leader Al-Saadi
i24 News – Israel’s Ofer military court extended the detention of the head of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, Bassam al-Saadi, for six days on suspicion of terrorist activities.
The head of Islamic Jihad, who has served seven terms in an Israeli prison, was arrested a week and a half ago during an Israeli military operation in Jenin.
According to the Shin Bet, al-Saadi is behind the strengthening of the Islamic Jihad organization in the West Bank and Jenin.
After his arrest, Israel began closing off cities around the Gaza Strip border, fearing retaliation. Then, last Friday, Israel launched a preemptive strike on Gaza, saying it had “concrete” indications of an “imminent” attack, in what became known as Operation “Breaking Dawn.”
Nearly three days of fighting later, an Egypt-brokered ceasefire agreement was signed, which reportedly included the release of al-Saadi and another Palestinian detainee, Khalil Awawdeh, according to an Islamic Jihad spokesperson.
Israel’s Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said shortly after that the Jewish state had no intention of releasing the prisoners early. Defense Minister Benny Gantz noted he was “not familiar with a promise to release terrorists.”
“I don’t want to simply promise they won’t be released. We don’t hold people in prison for nothing,” Gantz told Channel 12 news in an interview.
Al-Saadi’s detention was extended until August 16.