The Israeli defense minister has raised the idea of using administrative detention against violent settlers. But there are more interests at play than meets the eye. As I wrote here last week, "price tag" – attacks by fringe settler groups perpetrated against (mostly) Palestinian property and civilians – finally hit the national news in Israel. The reason was the object of (one) of the latest attacks: a small IDF post near Yitzhar that settlers stormed, and the tires of the regional commander's jeep, which were slashed when he visited the same settlement. The honor of the general’s tires worked where the…Read More... | 2 Comments
In an interview, former Israeli attorney general Michael Ben-Yair says he considers the situation in Hebron a form of Apartheid, refers to 'Price Tag' attacks as Jewish terrorism and regrets consenting to the construction of West Bank bypass roads for settlers. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din About a month ago, I met with Michael Ben-Yair for an in-depth interview offering him a chance to share his thoughts on issues of highest national importance. Ben-Yair is best known to the public as a former attorney general who served in that position under Rabin’s second government. He is also a member…Read More... | 33 Comments
An IDF legal advisor lies to a Knesset oversight committee, says no administrative detention orders were issued against anyone in Israel. It turns out not only did Defense Minister Ya'alon sign one such order, he forbade the detained Israeli citizen from seeing a lawyer. By Noam Rotem (translated from Hebrew by Yossi Gurvitz) Two days ago, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee held an urgent hearing about the administrative restraining orders issued by the head of the Central Command (the IDF command responsible for the West Bank, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv coastal plain). During the lively debate, committee chairman MK…Read More... | 20 Comments
The previous law was struck down by the High Court, which ordered the state to begin releasing the asylum seekers it was indefinitely detaining. Instead, the Knesset passed a law to circumvent the ruling and indefinitely detain asylum seekers in 'open prisons.' By Elizabeth Tsurkov After a passionate debate and a filibuster by opposition members of Knesset, the new amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law passed 30 to 15 early Tuesday morning. The new amendment, hurriedly drafted and passed by the governing coalition, will replace the 2012 amendment to the law, which was nixed by the High Court of Justice…Read More... | 20 Comments
Accused of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Qatamesh has been under administrative detention since March 2011, without trial or indictment. Now Qatamesh, who calls for one democratic state between the river and the sea, is having his detention extended under the premise that he is 'a threat to the security of the area.' By Noam Rotem (translated by Jordan Michaeli) At the time of writing of these lines, Israel holds 5,069 security prisoners, of which 134 are held under administrative detention. The authority Israel assumed upon occupying the West Bank - to detain…Read More... | 1 Comment
Can Israel help the United States treat hunger striking detainees at Guantanamo Bay more humanely? Probably. But one lesson that may be lost on the U.S. is that Palestinian hunger strikes in Israel have - for the most - part been successful. When nearly 200 people were rushed to Boston hospitals after the marathon bombing earlier this year, doctors were prepared because of an Israeli disaster management training they had received years earlier. When a building collapsed in Nairobi in 2006, Israeli army search and rescue teams flew in and freed trapped survivors. Disaster medicine is the one of the few fields in…Read More... | 7 Comments
After staging an intermittent hunger strike for some nine months, hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi agreed to start eating again, pending the signing of a deal later in the day. The deal would see him released to his home in Jerusalem in eight months. Update (April 23, 4:10 p.m.): Issawi has signed the deal and ended his hunger strike, Maan reports. He is expected to be released in late December of this year. Palestinian hunger striking prisoner Samer Issawi has agreed to end his hunger strike, and will be released to his home Jerusalem in eight months' time, Reuters reported…Read More... | 8 Comments
Unlike Prisoner X, there is no public outrage in Israel over the way the legal system is preventing Samer Issawi from receiving a fair trial. But then again, Issawi is Palestinian. Samer Issawi, the Palestinian prisoner who has been on an intermittent hunger strike for over 200 days, had his day in court on Thursday. According to the sentence handed down by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, one might ostensibly believe that Issawi would be released on March 6, when his prison term is completed. But Samer Issawi is Palestinian, and therefore subject to a multi-layered legal system in which his…Read More... | 10 Comments
Four Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strikes to protest their administrative detention and the conditions in which they are being held. While the EU calls on Israel to respect its obligations toward Palestinian prisoners' human rights, an Israeli NGO reports they are being treated unethically in hospital. All anyone in Israel has spoken about for the past week is ‘Prisoner X,’ the Jewish-Israeli-Australian Mossad agent held secretly by his own country, who supposedly took his own life in prison two years ago. But only a few miles from Israeli newsrooms in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, outrage over a different type…Read More... | 11 Comments
Hundreds of Palestinian took part today in demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, specifically those administrative detainees on hunger strike. Dozens were lightly wounded from tear gas inhalation, and several from live ammunition. The main protest today occurred outside Ofer Prison, just outside Ramallah, in support of Samer Issawi, who has not eaten since July 29, 2012, along with the rest of the Palestinians on hunger strike. Hundreds of Palestinians, including MK Ahmad Tibi, Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti and Islamic leader Sheikh Raed Salah gathered near Ofer at noon for a Friday prayer before marching toward the prison,some confronting army…Read More... | 14 Comments
New Year's resolutions offer us a glimpse into the hopes of the children who live under Israeli occupation. A colleague of mine, a fellow journalist and writer, teaches English to Palestinian children in Hebron. I visited her recently in the West Bank and she generously shared her teenage students' New Year's resolutions. They are published here, sans names, with the students' permission. From a teenage boy: *Study hard *Be lovely *Don't hurt others *Work better *Keep your mouth closed *Imagine well *Never give up *Eat healthy food *Hate injustice *Like to help others *Smile *Fight bad insects The next one…Read More... | 16 Comments
The Interior Ministry declared Sanait Tesfauneh, an asylum-seeker from Eritrea, a 'threat to public security' and placed her in administrative detention after she was suspected of purchasing a forged work permit. Now, several organizations are attempting to challenge the detention system that deprives asylum seekers of their civil liberties. Victor Hugo's Les Misérables was published in 1862. Over the years the book became the most famous indictment against the treatment of the weak by society, authorities, and the law. Hugo tells the tale of Jean Valjean who was unable to find work to support his family, so he smashed a…Read More... | 16 Comments
At 1:00 a.m. Monday morning, Israeli forces entered 'autonomous' Area A and arrested Ayman Nasser, a researcher at Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Two soldiers held Nasser's wife at gunpoint while other soldiers searched the house the couple shares with their four children, who range in age from three to 13. Nasser is currently being held at a detention facility in Jerusalem. Addameer says that the his arrest represents Israel's "latest attempt... to target not only Addameer as an organization advocating for Palestinian prisoner's rights but also the targeting of Palestinian civil society in general." Since 1991,…Read More... | 5 Comments
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A look into the daily life of African refugees living in an 'open' detention center.
Kerry's peace process
Full coverage, commentary and analysis of the latest round of peace talks.
Plan to displace Bedouin
Will tens of thousands of Israeli citizens be evicted from their homes?
A series of striking infographics.
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