An Israeli source informed me earlier today that the Shabak arrested Muhammad Mahajna a few days ago. He is a young Israeli Palestinian (in his 20s) from Umm al-Fahm . A month ago he was arrested and questioned for postings published to his Facebook page during the Gaza war. He was then released. But four days ago, the secret police broke into his home and arrested him again.
No one has explained the nature of the charges against him. Though my source tells me they are “more serious” than those involving the previous Facebook posts. He is being held incommunicado. He has had no access to an attorney and the case is under gag order. No Israeli publication may write about his case.
There have been a slew of such cases over the past month in which Israeli Palestinians were fired from jobs or threatened for publishing social media comments that were either critical of the Israeli massacre or sympathetic to the plight of Gaza. In this case, the IDF has made a special case out of a Palestinian who tweeted falsely that an IDF officer had been killed by Hamas. He’s now been indicted for an array of security offenses.
In Israel, perhaps you can get away with such outrageous overreaction. But in the rest of the world this will rightly be seen as pathological paranoia and it will make Israel no friends. It speaks to the triumph of the national security state and the kingdom of secrets. Where media is shackled and the mouths of citizens are taped shut.
Returning to Mahajna’s case, in the earlier stages of an arrest is when the interrogation and torture is most severe. That’s why it’s so important to circulate this information as widely as possible, and make it as public as possible. No other details are known presently.
I’ve contacted several Palestinian and Israeli NGO sources who’ve helped me in the past identity the prison where such detainees are being held, and found family members and attorneys with whom I’ve spoken. But so far, I have none of that personal information.
If you are Israeli or Palestinian please try to help discover any information you can to help find him.