"The court of Beersheba in southern Israel rejected the appeal of Mohamed Murtaja's lawyer to reschedule his court session from March 2 to today Friday," an official source has said.
"Murtaja was also denied from seeing his lawyer until February 28," the source added
Khaled Zayarqa, Murtaja’s lawyer, confirmed to Anadolu Agency Friday that his client had been brought before an Israeli judge Tuesday who had ordered that he not be allowed to speak with his lawyers until Feb. 28.
The judge also extended Murtaja’s detention a further 10 days, Zayarqa said, while setting the date for his second court session on March 2.
The second session will reportedly be held in a court in Israel’s southern city of Beersheba.
The Israeli court also imposed a gag order against publishing news on the case until March 14.
According to Zayarqa, Murtaja is accused of having links to Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, communicating with foreign intelligence agencies, and plotting against Israel’s national security.
Meanwhile, both the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv are closely following the issue, according to Turkish sources.
The same sources, who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media, said the charges levelled against Murtaja were not related to his work with TIKA.
Mamdouh Murtaja, Mohamed’s brother, described his brother’s detention as “arbitrary”.
"There is no reason for my brother’s arrest,” he told Anadolu Agency from Gaza City. “He has dedicated his life to the service of humanity in the Gaza Strip.”
A Palestinian father of four, Mohamed Murtaja has worked for TIKA in the Gaza Strip since 2012.