The Israeli army is holding Anwar Makhtoob in administrative detention for two six-month-old Facebook posts. The military prosecutor admits there isn’t even a suspicion that he had committed a crime.
The Israeli army arrested Anwar Makhtoob, an 18-year-old Palestinian, over several old Facebook posts two weeks ago. The military prosecutor readily admitted that there wasn’t even a suspicion that he had committed a crime, but instead of releasing him, as one might expect, the prosecution and the judge decided to keep him in prison, so that he could be put in administrative detention.
On December 31, 2018, Mahktoob’s uncle and little brother were driving through an Israeli military checkpoint near their West Bank village of Al-Qubeiba. The Israeli officers there asked about Anwar, and then called his father and demanded that he bring the teenager to the checkpoint for questioning.
When the two arrived, the Border Police officer in charge asked Makhtoob about two photos he had published in July 2018, six months earlier: one, a photo of weapons, and the other, a keffiyeh-clad man in a flak jacket holding an assault rifle. According to Makhtoob’s attorney, Khalil Zaher, the teenager found the photos online and decided to share them.
After answering the Israeli officer’s questions, Makhtoob was released and sent home with his father. Two hours later, Makhtoob’s father received another phone call from the Israeli officer, who asked that he return with his son to the checkpoint in order to sign a few documents. After another round of questioning, they arrested Anwar.
Makhtoob was taken to the Israeli army’s Ofer military prison, where he remained until January 3, when he was finally brought before a military judge. The prosecutor asked the judge to extend his remand by 72 hours to give time for a senior IDF commander to issue an administrative detention order. Administrative detention is a practice Israel uses to hold Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence, often in the absence of a crime.
Administrative detention orders are reviewed every six months, and can be renewed indefinitely. The detainees and their lawyers are usually not told of what crimes they are being accused or shown the evidence against them. The result is that it is virtually impossible to defend oneself against an administrative detention order. Under international law, administrative detention should only be used in the most extreme cases but Israel...Read More