The army issues an administrative detention order again a Palestinian parliamentarian using secret evidence to ‘prove’ some very un-secret allegations. Israel is currently holding over 600 Palestinians without charge or trial.
The Israeli army this week submitted secret evidence to a military court in order support an administrative detention order it issued against Hamas legislator Abed al-Jaber Fuqaha.
According to the army, the secret evidence proves that al-Jaber Fuqaha is … a member of Hamas, information which can hardly be considered secret considering he was publicly elected on the political party/terrorist organization’s slate.
“Information was received, according to which [al-Jaber Fuqaha] is a member of the Hamas terrorist organization and endangers the security of the region,” the IDF Spokesperson said. (The full statement can be found below.)
It is important to note that legally and politically speaking Israel, and the Israeli army, does not differentiate between the militant and political branches of Hamas, the latter of which democratically won the last Palestinian parliamentary elections to have been held, in 2006.
Administrative detention is a practice Israel uses to imprison primarily Palestinians without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders are limited to six months but there is no limit on the number of times they can be renewed, making them indefinite.
Fuqaha was released from a previous round of administrative detention just a year ago, and has spent a total of seven years in Israeli prisons. In 2014 he joined a mass Palestinian hunger strike to protest against prolonged detention without charges or trial.
As previously reported here by Noam Rotem, Fuqaha is the seventh Palestinian legislator in Israeli custody, along with Ahmad Sa’adat, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who is serving a 30-year sentence; Marwan Barghouti, who is serving four consecutive life sentences; Hatem Hafisha and Hassan Yousef who are being held in administrative detention, Jerusalem resident Muhammad Mahmoud Abu Tir, and PFLP lawmaker and feminist activist Khalida Jarrar.
Jarrar was sentenced to 15 months in prison last December after spending eight months in prison, some of which were spent in administrative detention.
Israel is currently holding over 600 Palestinians in administrative detention, according to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer and Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. In total, more than 6,000 Palestinians are currently being held as “security prisoners,” as opposed to criminal prisoners, in Israeli detention facilities.
The full IDF statement, which it provided in response to a query, is as follows:
In the matter of Abed al-Jaber Fuqaha, information was received, according to which he is a member of the Hamas terrorist organization and endangers the security of the region. In light of that information, an administrative detention order was issued against him which was approved by a military court after the secret information was presented to it, and as a last resort after no option for preventing the danger he poses was found via other tools.
A version of this article first appeared in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.