Left: Dr. Ghazi Falah, courtesy of University of Akron website
(Akron, OH) An Ohio geography professor remains in an Israeli jail 12 days after he was arrested on unknown charges, according to family members.
Ghazi Falah, 53, who teaches at the University of Akron, was detained July 8. Falah's wife Jamila said that her husband was detained after taking photographs on a tourist beach near Nahariya, and was later transported to a jail in Haifa.
"They [Israeli authorities] are not saying anything and they told the lawyer he’s not allowed to give any information," she said. "I’m so worried here."
Janelle Hironimus, a spokesperson for the US Department of State, said officials will not intercede because Falah is not a US citizen. He is a citizen of both Israel and Canada.
"A consular official from the embassy would be allowed to visit him in jail, but because he is not a citizen we don't have access to him," she said.
Israeli officials refuse to provide information about Falah to family members, and they have denied him the right to speak with his attorney. At a detention hearing last week, Falah's attorney was not allowed to be present.
Falah's family must wait and hope for the best.
"This is a ridiculous situation," his 23-year-old son Naail said. "We didn't even tell my youngest brother about it until TV cameras started showing up this morning. He should not be sitting in an Israeli prison."
Falah traveled to Israel to be with his mother, who underwent surgery in a Haifa hospital for a brain tumor.