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Israel military tribunal extends detentions of Palestinian lawmakers

[JURIST] An Israeli military tribunal Wednesday extended the detentions of five Palestinian Hamas lawmakers for an additional five days. The five - four MPs and one cabinet member - challenged the authority of the Israel Defense Forces [official website] court at the Ofer military base in the West Bank to hear their case, arguing that the tribunal has no authority over the officials because the tribunal was convened in disputed territory, and because the doctrine of sovereign immunity prevents Israel from bringing criminal charges against foreign representatives. The court responded [press release] by noting that the Hamas leaders live in the area over which the court claims jurisdiction, and that they are "active criminals." The court further held that the five are "members of an outlawed organization," and that they will be held until Sunday to permit the investigation to continue.

The five Hamas leaders were among a total of 64 Hamas members, including eight Palestinian cabinet ministers, detained by Israeli forces [JURIST report] last Thursday in retaliation for the seizure of an Israeli soldier [JURIST report]. The Jerusalem Post has more.

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