Hamas releases three Arabs arrested over Zoom conference with Israelis

Gaza’s Hamas authorities release three Palestinian Arabs who were jailed for holding an online video conference with Israeli participants.

Elad Benari ,

Hamas terrorists
Hamas terrorists
Flash 90

Gaza’s Hamas authorities on Monday released three Palestinian Arab peace campaigners who were jailed last April for holding an online video conference with Israeli participants, The Associated Press reports.

Rami Aman, 39, was detained in April along with seven members of his Gaza Youth Committee group after holding a two-hour Zoom meeting. The event drew dozens of peace activists, including Israelis.

Hamas pressed treason charges against Aman and a colleague, but released five of the detainees days later, according to AP.

On Monday, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which defended Aman, said a military court suspended the remainder of the defendants’ one-year sentence and released them.

Aman’s family confirmed their son arrived home but declined to comment further.

The Zoom conference bringing Israelis and Gazans together was advertised on a Facebook event page and some Israeli participants published a recording of the discussions, prompting fierce condemnations of Aman and other Gaza-based participants. Hamas-run security forces then made the arrests.

Hamas, which took over Gaza in a bloody 2007 coup, bans many forms of communications with Israel and what it calls the “normalization” of relations with the Jewish state.

The group regularly claims to have captured “Israeli spies”, and many times it tries them and sentences them to death.

In theory all execution orders in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) territories must be approved by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in Ramallah and who imposed a moratorium on executions several years ago.

Hamas no longer recognizes Abbas’ legitimacy, and has in the past emphatically declared that the death penalty in Gaza can be carried out without his consent.