POLITICS

Canada 'stands ready' to help Canadian-Jordanian businessman detained in Israel

05/19/2015 12:01 EDT | Updated 05/19/2016 05:59 EDT
Ottawa says the Canadian embassy in Tel Aviv "stands ready to provide consular assistance" to a Canadian-Jordanian businessman reportedly detained by Israeli authorities on suspicion of ties to the militant group Hamas.

"Consular officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information," Foreign Affairs spokesman Nicholas Doire told CBC News, adding that due to privacy concerns, the department was unable to provide further details.

Over the weekend, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that businessman Ibrahim Siyam had been arrested by security service Shin Bet earlier this month, and has been held for 12 days without access to a lawyer.

According to the paper, Siyam, who owns an auto manufacturing plant in Jordan, had been invited to Ramallah by Palestine Authority president Mahmoud Abbas to take part in a developing the PA economy.

"When he arrived together with a group of other Jordanian businessmen at the Allenby Bridge border crossing about two weeks ago, he was arrested by the Shin Bet and taken to the Kishon interrogation facility for questioning," the paper reported Sunday.

"The Shin Bet accuses him of involvement in Hamas activity, but the details of the suspicions against him are classified."

Hamas, an Islamic militant group that took control of Gaza in 2007 after winning elections there in 2006, has been designated as a terrorist group by the Canadian government since 2002.