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military courts

  • Abiding by international law — when it's convenient

    Israeli institutions seek to obtain the benefits of the international legal order while refusing to accept the corresponding burdens and obligations. By Gerard Horton For some time now the Israeli army's Military Courts’ Unit has distributed a five-page briefing paper to foreign delegations visiting military courts in the West Bank. The briefing paper is intended to persuade the reader that the military courts — which have been used to prosecute approximately 755,000 Palestinian men, women and children since 1967 — were established, and are currently operating, in accordance with international law. The document commences with the following statement: The Military…

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  • Is every Palestinian kid who throws stones a terrorist?

    In a reality where children aged 10 and 11 are arrested by 18- and 19-year-old soldiers who have been indoctrinated for military service since kindergarten, this kind of discussion seems completely out of place. A human rights attorney spends the day at one of the occupation's more bizarre PR events. By Smadar Ben-Natan “Involvement of Children in Terrorism.” That was the rather confusing name given to a conference organized by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC). What is the context for discussing the involvement of children in terrorism? What is meant by the word…

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  • A pretense of progress for children in Israel's military courts

    A new amendment requiring military authorities to videotape interrogations of Palestinian minors may seem like a step in the right direction. That is, until you read the fine print. By Gerard Horton Change has been afoot since UNICEF published a report finding that the ill treatment of children held in Israeli military detention “appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.” Most recently that change has come in the form of a new military order (Military Order 1745), which requires Israeli police in the West Bank to audio-visually record interrogations of minors. The order also stipulates that interrogations should be conducted…

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  • Replacing the peace process with a civil rights struggle

    What would happen if Israeli progressives and their supporters demanded an end to the military court system, or called for freedom of movement for Palestinians? The answer: a lot. The two-state solution has long been transformed from a means (to solving the problem of the occupation) to an end. As I wrote here in the past, this change has had severe consequences as far as the Israeli political opposition is concerned. Those range from a de-facto acceptance of the status quo to a political alliance with the Right and support for all the latest rounds of violence. The excuses are always…

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  • Tariq Abu Khdeir wasn't the first and he won't be the last

    Israel has detained over 7,000 Palestinian children over the past 12 years. Many of them report beatings, abuse and a denial of rights by security forces. It's time to put things in the wider context. The detention and abuse of Palestinian children by Israeli security forces has, for a change, been all over the international news media. Unfortunately, it took the severe beating of a 15-year-old boy who happens to have American citizenship for that to happen. Tariq Abu Khdeir was beaten by Israeli Border Police officers in Shuafat last week, during a protest against the brutal killing of of his…

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  • Assessing developments in Israel's juvenile military courts

    The Israeli military has implemented positive developments in its juvenile court system in recent years, and yet, regular allegations of serious abuses persist. A look at what has been done and what still needs to take place. By Gerard Horton Since the establishment of Israel’s military juvenile court in September 2009, there have been some noteworthy developments in the way children as young as 12 are treated in Israel’s military legal system. The establishment of the court has led to several changes, including: a reduction in the time in which children must be brought before a military court judge for…

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  • Data shows worsening situation for children in Israeli military detention

    A UNICEF report indicates a measurable deterioration in the treatment of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention in the months since the UN organization recommended serious changes. By Gerard Horton In March 2013, UNICEF published a report – Children in Israeli Military Detention. The report’s main finding was that the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process. In response to these findings, the Israeli Foreign Ministry stated it would study the conclusions and work to implement the 38 recommendations through ongoing cooperation with UNICEF. Read +972′s…

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  • Resource: Unlawful discrimination: Two boys, two laws

    Since 1967, Israel has issued 1,700 military orders and between 750,000-800,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been prosecuted in Israeli military courts and imprisoned. Technically speaking, Israeli military law applies to all persons in the West Bank, whether they be Palestinian or Israeli, but in practice civilian law is applied to the settlers, whereas military law, with far fewer rights and protections, is reserved for Palestinians, giving rise to a situation of unlawful discrimination. Read: The bottom line is equal rights for all The following report, prepared by Military Court Watch, showcases the Israeli occupation's legal discrimination, as it affects…

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  • Testimonies: Systematic abuse, beatings and threats against Palestinian children

    Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem is laying the blame on Israel's police for ignoring the systematic abuse and violations of Palestinian minors’ rights during interrogations. The organization has received dozens of complaints by Palestinian residents under the age of 18 who have been beaten and threatened during interrogations in Etzion police station, which is in charge of the Hebron and Bethlehem areas. Many of those minors and their families were afraid or reluctant to press formal charges. According to B’Tselem, some of the events described included torture. Once defendants admit to breaking the law (usually stone throwing), the beating and…

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  • Hunger-striker Samer Issawi is another statistic in an unjust legal system

    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…

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  • Political persecution, torture as common practice and executions in Hamas-run courts

    A new report by Human Rights Watch documents human rights violations by the Hamas authority in Gaza. Many of the violations of prisoners rights were committed against Fatah members, sometimes in 'retaliation' for the persecution of Hamas members in the West Bank.  Human Rights Watch issued last week an important report on Hamas-run courts in Gaza. +972 posted the report in its entirely yesterday. You can read it in PDF format here. HRW interviewed 15 people, including inmates and lawyers who have been tortured by Hamas security forces. Altogether, there have been 112 complaints of torture of Palestinians in Gaza during 2011. As…

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  • Palestinian teen assaulted by soldiers detained for a month without cause

    Comments from IDF Spokesperson regarding the Hebron incident proven false. Last month, Mairav Zonszein posted a video showing a young Palestinian being assaulted and detained by a group of soldiers, most of them in civilian clothing. The incident happened at checkpoint 56 in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. After several Hebrew media outlets featured the clip, the IDF Spokesperson released the following comment: The video does not accurately depict the course of events that occurred yesterday. During routine activity in Hebron, a Palestinian individual refused to identify himself to soldiers following their request. The Palestinian individual confronted IDF forces on the scene,…

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  • Testimonies: Eyes on Israeli military courts

    The following booklet, published by Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, encompasses a series of reflections by Addameer volunteers and associates who visited Israeli military courts in occupied Palestinian territory between 2009 and 2011. The contributors witnessed hearings for Palestinians accused of stone-throwing, involvement in demonstrations and other political activities deemed an offense according to Israeli military regulations. Eyes on Israeli Military Court- Impressions ADDAMEER (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. Established in 1992 by a group of…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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