Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has called on Israeli authorities to release two Jordanian citizens, who were lately arrested after crossing the kingdom into the occupied West Bank.
Sufyan al-Qudah, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, said on Monday that Jordanian Ambassador in Tel Aviv Walid Obeidat, had demanded the immediate release of Heba Abdel-Baqi and Abdurrahman Marei and their repatriation in his meetings and frequent contacts with Israeli officials, Jordan’s official news agency Petra reported.
Qudah added that Amman rejects the Israeli authorities’ decision to arrest the two, pointing out that the Jordanian foreign ministry follows up on their cases on a daily basis and has instructed its diplomats in Tel Aviv to visit them periodically.
He further noted that the Jordanian ambassador has visited Abdel-Baqi four times at her detention center to check on her conditions. Marei has also received two consular visits since his arrest.
Abdel-Baqi, a Jordanian citizen who also holds a Palestinian identity card, was arrested on August 20, when she crossed the King Hussein Bridge, also known as the Allenby Bridge, which crosses the Jordan River near the Palestinian city of Ariha and connects the occupied West Bank with Jordan, with her mother and aunt on their way to a relative’s wedding in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
According to her attorney, Raslan Mahajna, she is suspected of meeting with people affiliated to the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement during trips to Beirut both last year and early this year.
Mahajna added that Abdel-Baqi often voices her views against the Israeli regime’s occupation of Palestinian territories on social media networks.
“She was interrogated intensively for 35 days, and in the end, there was no basis for indicting her, so she was slapped with an administrative detention order,” he said.
“She’s been on hunger strike, because in her view, this was an arbitrary, unjustified arrest,” Mahajna noted.
Abdel-Baqi is reportedly being held at Kishon prison, also known as the al-Jalame detention center.
Arabic-language Arabi 21 online newspaper reported that Marei was arrested on September 2 as he was going to attend the wedding of a relative in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, located approximately 49 kilometers (30 miles) north of Jerusalem.
The 29-year-old man, a resident of the Abu al-Zayegan area in the central Jordanian city of Zarqa, had traveled with his mother through the King Hussein Bridge.
His family said that they have not been able to contact him since his arrest, and have not been told the reason for his detention. Marei is said to be suffering from cancer. His relatives are concerned his medical condition will deteriorate in jail.