Israel releases Jordanian nationals after months in administrative detention

Heba al-Labadi escorted by Jordanian security personnel after her release from an Israeli jail

Yumna Patel reports in Mondoweiss

After 41 days on hunger strike and more than two months under administrative detention in Israeli prison, 24-year-old Heba al-Labadi was released back to her home in Jordan on Wednesday to much fanfare from the Jordanian public.

Al-Labadi, a Palestinian-Jordanian national, was arrested by Israeli forces on August 20th at the Allenby Bridge border crossing while traveling with her mother. The pair were on their way to attend a family wedding in the West Bank when she was detained for unknown reasons.

Israeli authorities later sentenced her to administrative detention, without charge or trial, citing “security concerns.” Israeli news outlet Haaretz reported that al-Labadi’s detention was a result of her meeting with Hezbollah-affiliated individuals during a trip to Lebanon.

Al-Labadi’s return to Amman was received with much fanfare, as well wishers, family and friends, and dozens of journalists awaited her arrival at the King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge between Israel and Jordan — the same place she had been arrested months before.

A second Jordanian national of Palestinian descent, 29-year-old Abdulrahman Merei, was also returned back to Jordan on Wednesday. Merei, like al-Labadi, was arrested at the Allenby Bridge in September and held in administrative detention in prison.

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