Mohammad Saba'aneh, a Palestinian cartoonist and a contributor to the Cartoon Movement comics journalism site, was arrested by Israeli authorities last Saturday and is being held without charge or access to a lawyer, according to the Cartoon Movement blog. The Committee to Protect Journalists has called for the immediate release of the political cartoonist.Saba'aneh is a cartoonist for Al-Hayat al-Jadida, the official newspaper of the Palestinian National Authority. His cartoons frequently comment on the political and human rights issues relating to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. According to news reports, Saba'aneh was detained on February 16 while crossing the Allenby Bridge checkpoint from Jordan after returning from a conference for his work at the Arab American University. On Wednesday, an Israeli court extended his detention for nine days, still without any formal charge.

The reason behind his arrest is still not clear. Israeli authorities said they were investigating the cartoonist for providing services to unspecified "hostile organizations," according to Saba'aneh's employer, the Palestinian daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida, which cited the cartoonist's lawyer.

Saba'aneh visited the United States in 2010 as a member of the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. You can view Saba'aneh's work at the Cartoon Movement's blog and at Al-Hayat al-Jadida's website.

[Via Robot 6]