Palestinian activist Fadi Quran faces Israeli administrative detention

Scores of Palestinian protestors have been detained by Israel under its policy of administrative detention which sees them being held without charges for an extended period of time. (Reuters)


Palestinian nonviolent youth activist, Fadi Quran was assaulted and arrested in Palestine on Friday as he protested the reopening of the Shuhada Street to Palestinians.

Quran’s crime? Israeli officials say Fadi “pushed” a soldier.

Shuhada Street is located in the heart of Hebron and is the central thoroughfare connecting all corners of the city. It has been closed to Palestinians since the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre in 1994.

The Stanford Daily, the online publication of Stanford University in the U.S., from where Quran graduated reported on Friday: “Quran, a Palestinian Stanford graduate from the West Bank and U.S. citizen, was arrested today in Hebron, West Bank, for allegedly pushing an Israeli soldier, according to tweets from journalists and activists in Palestine.”

However, live footage from the demo reveals Quran, visibly upset as he talks to Israeli soldiers, but there is no image of a physical attack on his part. Instead he is seen being gripped by several soldiers and pushed toward a police van. The video also shows an officer using pepper spray on Quran before throwing him on the floor where his head hits the bumper of the van, as soldiers violently try to get him inside the vehicle.

Jake Horowitz, a friend of Quran’s from Stanford who is providing constant updates about his situation, last reported that Quran is currently being held in Ofer military jail. He was supposed to be brought to court on Sunday, charged with battering a soldier but it has been delayed till Monday.

Quran could be held for an unlimited period of time waiting for a court verdict, since Israel’s administrative detention procedure permits it.

Horowitz met Quran on a trip to “Ahmedabad, India, where both studied nonviolence and its advocates, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, with a group of Stanford students at Gandhi’s ashram. Quran participated in a three-week academic seminar in order to learn concrete skills of nonviolent protest.”

Only a few weeks earlier, the world was following up on the story of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan’s hunger strike protesting his administrative detention. Adnan agreed to a deal that would secure his release in April after enduring a 66-day hunger strike that garnered worldwide media attention.

A Facebook page called “Free Fadi Quran” has been created as well as an online petition to pressure the authorities to set him free. “Fadi should not be detained for an indefinite period of time on false charges. It is imperative that the Israeli government release Fadi so that he may continue to speak for his people and PEACEFULLY push for basic human rights” states the petition.

In a March 2011 issue, Time magazine described Fadi Quran as the Face of the new Middle East: “He is a Palestinian who has returned home to start an alternative-energy company and see what he can do to help create a Palestinian state. He identifies with neither of the two preeminent Palestinian political factions, Hamas and Fatah. His allegiance is to the Facebook multitudes who orchestrated the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and who are organizing nonviolent protests throughout the region. In the Palestinian territories, the social-networking rebels call themselves the March 15 movement.”

In that same article, Quran says: “I think about the dogs unleashed on Martin Luther King in Birmingham. I think about the beatings. That’s what it took for Americans to see the justice of his cause. We will be risking our lives, but that is what it takes.”

Fadi Quran was arrested on his 24th birthday.

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