Saudi back home after years in Israel jail

A Saudi man returned home after spending nearly seven years in detention in Israel following his capture in 2005 when he lost his way at the Egyptian border and entered occupied Palestine, newspapers reported on Saturday.

Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Atawi, 40, arrived in Riyadh on Thursday from the United States, where he had spent several months following his release.

Atawi’s family and other relatives were at  King Khalid airport to greet him on his arrival from the US, where he was hosted by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the papers said.

 “His release follows years of illegal detention and violation of human rights and international norms by Israel,” his lawyer, Katib al Shammari, said.

He said Atawi was tried in 2005 and sentenced to three months in prison but was illegally kept in detention for many years.

“In mid 2010, the Israelis decided to set him free but refused to allow him to return home…instead, they moved him to a remote farm to work under tight security…Atawi had been subjected to inhuman practices by an entity which claims it respects democracy and human rights.”

Newspapers said Atawi was near the Egyptian port of Nuwaibi opposite Aqaba port in Jordan close to the northern Saudi border when he lost his way and crossed into occupied Palestine, where he was seized by the Israelis.


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