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It's always 9:15 in the West Bank military court

As Palestinians wait for their day in military court, time stretches and blends like a cruel psychological experiment. People walk in circles to stay warm. The broken clock on the wall shows 9:15. The only ones who know what time it is are the soldiers.

By Alma Biblash

The Ofer military prison in the snow, December 15, 2013. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The Ofer military prison in the snow, December 15, 2013. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Sunday, Ofer Military Court, the West Bank: Around 30 Palestinian men and women wait an average of five hours for their hearings, or of their incarcerated loved ones. They are waiting inside a corral called the “family waiting area” — a metal cage, inside which there is a caravan with chairs and a small snack bar that’s not always open. The heating doesn’t really work, the air conditioners are encased in giant blocks of ice, remnants of snow litter the ground and everyone is wrapped in layers of clothing that stubbornly refuse to protect them from the cold. People walk in circles in order to warm themselves, maybe to stretch a little in the small space. Inside the snack bar there is a small toaster oven for heating up bourekas, which is emitting a little heat. A woman approaches it and the man behind the counter barks at her to either buy something or move away.

Now and then when we look toward the prison yard we can see a shackled prisoner being escorted by guards, at least one looks like a minor, all of them look exhausted, one of them is wearing flip-flops.

Read also: Hope ends here: The children’s court at Ofer Military Prison

Mobile phones are taken away at the entrance and nobody has a watch. Time stretches and blends like a cruel psychological experiment. The broken clock on the wall shows 9:15. The only ones who know what time it is are the soldiers and the staff. When you ask them, the answers range from, “do I look like an information center?” to, “it’s always 9:15 here at Ofer,” while pointing with a smile toward the broken clock. Anytime somebody comes in from the outside, everyone asks them what time it is: he left civilization only a few minutes ago, surely he’ll know. Also when somebody walks out of a hearing: he met with the lawyer — surely they told him.

By virtue of our — Israelis — presence, getting answers about delayed hearings is made a little easier; sometimes, but not always, the soldiers cooperate a bit more with us. The Palestinians ask a lot of questions. They don’t rely on us and our presence makes them restless but also provides them with something to focus on in order to pass the time. One of the guards, a Druze soldier, tells them in Arabic: “She’s on your side. Believe me, I know her. She comes here a lot.” The idiot thinks that a soldier in uniform vouching for me means anything. I’m actually glad that they suspect me and that most aren’t overly friendly. A healthy dose of caution.

Some of the Palestinians traveled long distances on public transportation, sometimes having to take three buses to get to the court. Some of them walked part of the way on foot through the frost and snow of the south Hebron Hills or Bethlehem area. The hearings are behind schedule and they start to worry that they’ll have to make the return journey in the dark.

At the end of the day we all leave the army base; the sun has already started to set. We head outside — Palestinians through the door on the right, Israelis to the left. They go to the West Bank village of Beitunia, we toward the segregated Highway 443. We are separated by the wall. Within half an hour we are already back in Tel Aviv, in our warm parallel universe.

Alma Biblash is a feminist and human rights activist based in Jaffa and blogger on +972’s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call, where this article was first published.

Related:
Hope ends here: The children’s court at Ofer Military Prison
A pretense of progress for children in Israel’s military courts

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    COMMENTS

    1. Weiss

      Is there no end to this Sociopathic SADISM ???

      And yet ANOTHER reason why I am Ashamed to be Jewish.

      Will the list ever stop growing?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X

      Imagine that a person accused with a criminal offence has to wait for his court hearing. How horrific! No one in Canada or the United States has to wait for his or case to be called, right?

      Imagine that Israel does not assign a judge, court clerk, recording clerk, prosecutor and defence counsel and individual court room space for each and every accused so that the accused and his supporters are not inconvenienced by having to wait like all other accused persons at a court appearance.

      Now imagine how bad it is for criminals not to be given luxury accommodation and food while they wait. Imagine that Israel is to blame for not one of thirty Palestinians owning a watch or knowing how to dress to keep warm.

      And horrors of horror some Palestinians had to take a bus or walk part of the way to the court proceeding. Israel should be censored for not providing limousine service to the Palestinian criminal and their families.

      Israel could solve these problems by offering all accused free accommodation in Ofer Prison.

      Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          The story of Hassan Karajah, a Palestinian human rights defender arrested after 20 IOF soldiers kicked open his family’s door in the middle of the night and spent three hours ransacking his family home, breaking furniture and confiscating three personal laptops and five mobile phones as well as several personal files and reports, is powerful. Thanks Bruce.

          Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            Of course there is another explanation why Hasan is in jail. Hassan Karajah is charged with membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an illegal organization involved in violent attacks against Israelis. Hassan is also charged with harboring ties to the militant group Hezbollah. Hassan took a trip to Lebanon, where Hezbollah is based, in 2012.

            His sister Sumoud Karajah, was a jailed terrorist who was released in the Shalit prisoner exchange with Hamas. She was arrested for stabbing an Israeli soldier. She was sentenced to twenty years.

            His brother Muntaser Karajah was sentenced to 10 months in jail. His father was arrested during the first intifada.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            “His father was arrested during the first intifada.” Lol! Let’s see a trial of Hassan in open court. Not of his brother not of his sister not of his father and not by the miserable standards they were jailed on. Until that, you’re a lot of talk.

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            Let us see, he is charged with belonging to a terrorist organization, and having contact with Hezbollah an enemy of Israel which smuggles weapons and money into the West Bank, and his immediate family has been convicted of terrorist offences. If he was arrested by the United States he would be in Guantanamo Bay detention camp or one of the CIA’s unlisted black sites.

            Reply to Comment
      • Bryan

        Of course criminals have to wait upon the court but usually “alleged” criminals are not shipped across the border to a foreign state (in contravention of international law) for their incarceration without trial (Israel and the US are exceptions to the rule).

        Reply to Comment
        • ICat

          No comprehensible arguments. Instead, more mumbo jumbo from an old man who does not know what to do with his old age. What a waste!

          Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            I fail to understand why my age (whatever that is) has anything to do with anything. I can only guess that you are a young mercenary, working for the propaganda machine whilst trying to put yourself through college, and as if the job weren’t awful enough, having to work long hours defending the indefensible, you see others unpaid, participating simply because they think justice is important. I understand poor lad – I was a wage-slave once, having to jump when the bosses said jump, having to do their dirty work. Your alienation and pitiful working conditions go a long way to explain your misanthropy. I feel sorry for you, and I will go easy on you if that is any consolation.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Riiiight! “Justice” is important to you ONLY when you hear the word “Jew” and/or “Israel”! How about fighting for “justice” in your own country FIRST? How about fighting for “justice” elsewhere where Jews are NOT involved (including places where British Muslims are beheading British and American Christians), you little old anti-Semite!

            And you actually believe that any Israeli defending his/her country must be doing so because he/she is being paid? What a turd!

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            I really could not care less whether you want to call yourself a Jew or a Muslim or an atheist or a martian – such labels are irrelevant. By your actions shall ye be judged. We are all human beings for heaven sake, and in the last analysis people’s tribal loyalties are simply an obstacle to peace, truth and justice. Humanity matters – human rights transcend all the crap you have got inside your head.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            You are really senile, aren’t you? What has your latest mumbo jumbo got to do with anything, old man?

            Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        1. An “administrative detention” is an administrative, I repeat, AD.MINIS.TRATIVE, not a criminal detention. Precisely because of that, no “charges” are filed against the detainee and that’s NO anomaly! The grounds for detention are administrative, not criminal, and are stated in the detention Order (or accompanying documents).

        2. “Administrative detention” is a legal instrument explicitly allowed under International law!

        3. “Administrative detention” is a legal instrument used in the United Kingdom, the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State Of Israel, The Kingdom Of The Netherlands, etc.

        4. “Administrative detentions” in Israel is subject to a series of civilian judicial reviews and regards mostly issues of National Security and Public Safety. That is far better than the practice in, for example, The Netherlands (IMO, the most liberal country on earth) where thousands of illegal migrants are held in administrative detention for up to 1½years or more, Germany where the number of “illegals” in administrative detention reached over 8.000. in 2008 (and we are not talking of other forms of administrative detentions yet), or in the United States, where until the case of Boumediene v. Bush, administrative detainees in the United States have no effective civilian judicial protection, etc.

        Stop your irrational obsession with- and deranged hatred of Jews, “Bruce Gould”! But who am I kidding here anyway? Obsession with Jews is a mental illness and tomorrow “Bruce Gould” will recycle and regurgitate the same propaganda again!

        Reply to Comment
        • ICat

          Wouldn’t it be nice if those who post here complaining incessantly about Israel are also kind enough to tell us which countries they come from? I am afraid none of them will do that, because then we get the opportunity to compare and contrast and show them how Israel is better than their own countries.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            I am happy to assist you Icat. I am from the UK and Ginger’s inept piece of Hasbara cites the UK as top of the list of countries that have used administrative detention. If instead of mindlessly trolling she had actually studied the history of internment in the UK she would realise that our experience is an excellent guide to why Israel should abandon (or at the very least heavily modify) its evil policy of administrative detention.

            Mass arrest and imprisonment without trial was adopted by Britain in August 1971 in response to growing civil tension in Northern Ireland (a settler colonial society with great similarities to Israel, except that the settlers had been there for centuries not for a few years and were fully accepted as loyal citizens of the UK, living on UK soil after the British had made peace with the neighbouring Irish Republic)

            Internment had inevitable adverse effects. Even a conservative commentary in Wikipedia says “Armed soldiers launched dawn raids throughout Northern Ireland, sparking four days of violence in which 20 civilians, two IRA members and two British soldiers were killed. Due mainly to faulty intelligence, many of those arrested were Catholics or Irish Nationalists who had no links with the IRA. Loyalist paramilitaries were also carrying out acts of violence, which were mainly directed against the Catholic and Irish nationalist community, but no loyalists were included in the sweep. The introduction of internment, the way the arrests were carried out, and the abuse of those arrested, led to mass protests and a sharp increase in violence. Amid the violence, about 7,000 people fled or were forced out of their homes. The interrogation techniques used on the internees were described by the European Commission of Human Rights in 1976 as torture, but the European Court of Human Rights ruled on appeal in 1978 that while the techniques were “inhuman and degrading”, they did not constitute torture… The policy of internment was to last until December 1975 and during that time 1,981 people were interned”.

            So why was internment so wrong, and so swiftly discontinued? (1) imprisonment without trial is deeply contradictory to the liberal principles of due process and innocent until proven guilty. It doesn’t matter how many times Ginger states ADMINISTRATIVE as if the process is merely a somewhat annoying piece of bureaucratic red tape – it is a feature of a police or military state not of a free society, and a free society is obligated, even amid divisive and violent social tensions to apply the rule of law. (2) It made matters worse – Catholics in the north saw themselves as under assault from a partisan government, and launched a veritable intifada of general strikes, rent strikes, protests, and withdrawal from public life. (3) It radicalised the target community. Inevitably when the wrong people are wrongfully arrested with no proper right of redress they feel aggrieved and their republican convictions were strengthened by contact with hard-liners in the universities that these prisons became. As a British army officer stated: “It has, in fact, increased terrorist activity, perhaps boosted IRA recruitment, polarised further the Catholic and Protestant communities and reduced the ranks of the much needed Catholic moderates.” Now ask yourself whether similarly misguided policies have boosted support for Hamas and other violent groups, or whether abuse experienced has helped to create suicide bombers)(4) It was enormously damaging to Britain’s international reputation.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Demetrius http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/intern/chron.htm

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Your long post makes Ginger’s point very well for her, you old fool. The UK administrative detention laws you reference still exist today under different names. The UK has been practicing administrative detention before and after Israel was born and still does today. Israel inherited her administrative detention law from the UK. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Administrative_detention#United_Kingdom

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Icat – you are an idiot – give me sufficient respect to understand that I am sufficiently honest to have researched the subject before I made bold claims against Ginger’s idiocy. Administrative detention was used briefly (but utterly failed) during the 1970s but its modern form – control orders – does not entail imprisonment without trial, but merely entails far weaker restrictions on liberty than Israel’s capability to lock someone up for six months (endlessly renewable, without any trial, and purely on the say so of security intelligence services).

            To cite Wikipedia the allowed restrictions all fall far short of Israel’s illegal practice of shipping offenders across the border, and then locking them up and effectively throwing away the keys, distant and inaccessible to family visits. To quote your preferred evidence on Wikipedia, control orders, used for at most a couple of dozen guys, do not entail endless imprisonment but instead restrict them in the following ways:
            “List of restrictions (1) Possession and/or use of specified objects and substances. (2) Use of specified services and/or facilities. (3) Certain occupations and employment. (4) Carrying out specified activities. (5) Restriction on association and communications with specified people, or people in general. (6) Restriction of place of residence, and visitors to the residence. (7) Movements at certain times of the day, or to certain places. (8) Passport must be surrendered. (9) A requirement to admit specified persons to certain premises. (10) A requirement to allow specified persons to confiscate and/or scientifically examine any object on premises owned by the subject. (11) A requirement to allow electronic surveillance to be carried out and photographs taken. (12) Any other restrictions whatsoever for up to 24hrs, when it is deemed necessary.”

            These are no doubt all infringements on civil liberties but are possibly an acceptable price to pay for a world polarized by Israeli militarization of civil police forces and exacerbation of a local middle eastern dispute where previously there were no Jihadis and no world terrorism before your local ethnic cleansing project took off.
            .

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            My post does not make Ginger’s point for her – the argument was clear, that Britain used a form of administrative detention, known as internment, during the 1970s but discontinued the practice because it did more harm than good in exacerbating conflict. Britain makes limited use of administrative measures today, called control orders, but these stop short of DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL, and are used to restrict movement and association by suspects without imprisoning them. You also overlook the fact that the British court system has been far more active in defending the rights of those effective than has the Israeli court system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_order

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Ginger’s point is that the UK practiced Administrative detention before and after Israel was born and still does today. That’s a material fact. You confirmed that that as well when you referenced the “internment of the 70s” in the UK, because the law that made that “internment” possible still exists and applies today under a different name: the Prevention Of Terrorism Act, you old fool! The UK Prevention of Terrorism Act allows for many draconian measures and distinguishes between “derogating control orders” and “non-derogating control orders”. Even though the Act does not use the word “imprisonment”, “derogating control orders” are in fact “imprisonment” (regardless of its duration, which can be extended as need be). It seems that you have neither an academic command of the English language nor the ability to appreciate its subtleties even though you claim to be a Brit!. In addition to that, the UK Immigration law makes administrative detention of thousands of illegal migrants possible. In 2009 alone, the UK had the capacity to confine some 3,000 people in immigration detention facilities. Approx. 26,000 individuals were detained under Immigration Act powers in 2010 alone. http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/migobs/Immigration%20Detention%20Briefing.pdf. That pales in comparison to Israel. But do care about “truth and justice” and the human rights for those detained by your own country? No! Why? Because the Jews are not involved! Indeed, your sense of “truth and justice” and human rights is only awoken when you hear the word “Jew” and/or “Israel”, you little old anti-Semite.

            The judicial review of administrative detention orders in Israel goes beyond what the UK offers or is at the very least the same. Your claim to the contrary is unsupported by facts. The rest of your post is a rant to which you are entitled.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Ginger provided the full text of the UK Prevention of Terrorism Act below. It seems you are unable to read and comprehend legal language, but instead resort to unauthentic, incomplete and often misleading simplifications of Wikipedia, brainiac! Here you have it again:

            http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/2/contents

            Stop citing Wikipedia when citing the law. Go to the primary source!

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Are you on the run, Bryan, or are you still doing some crash course on the British law? Let us know when you are done and then explain to us (a) the difference between “derogating control orders” and (b) “non-derogating control orders”. After you have done that, do you still have the courage to REPEAT that (b) “control orders does not entail imprisonment without trial, but merely entails far weaker restrictions on liberty than Israel’s capability to lock someone up for six months (endlessly renewable, without any trial, and purely on the say so of security intelligence services)”! I have more ‘legal ballistic missiles in stock for you’. Next time you are pompous and stupid enough to declare: “give me sufficient respect to understand that I am sufficiently honest to have researched the subject before I made bold claims against Ginger’s idiocy”, you need to think twice and hard, because the “idiocy” comes from you and your “idiocy” is indeed “bold”, little old man.

            (Btw. in my post above, the sentence that read: “…That pales in comparison to Israel …” should read: that is staggeringly high in comparison to Israel).

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Are you still ON THE RUN, Bryan?! Come out of hiding and defend yourself, little old man!

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Yes, I claimed that Britain adopted internment in the 1970s – it was a big mistake and didn’t help to resolve the serious problems that existed in Northern Ireland. But Britain abandoned the policy. When you make mistakes you have to learn from them. That enables you to build civilization – you do not keep doing the same stupid things and believing the same stupid things when they have been demonstrated to be obviously wrong.

            You are contradicting the first rule of sensible hasbara which says that sometimes you have to admit that Israel (like all states) has made mistakes but Israel at least learns from these mistakes and remedies them. Instead you are so self-righteous that you cannot acknowledge that some policies are immoral, ineffective or counter-productive. So you end up down a blind alley defending Israel right or wrong, which makes you appear an absolute plonker, does nothing to convince ordinary sensible people that you have a clue, and then you bring out your trump card – you’re only saying this because they are either anti-semitic, or too young to understand, or too old to care, or too male, or too female, or of indeterminate gender, or you have mental problems or bad teeth or PMT or whatever absurd irrelevance you can conjure up in order to insult their honest opinions. Do you never understand that most people resent bigotry in all its forms and that your intransigence, stubbornness, unwillingness to face reality are severely damaging the cause you purport to support?

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Does the UK practice administrative detention today that is similar to Israel’s or not? That’s what we have been arguing about, and I am pleasantly surprised that you now want to run away from that question, because you see defeat all around you, old man! Ginger said and says yes to that question and I agree completely with her. You said no to that question and made this claim, Bryan:

            “– the argument was clear, that Britain used a form of administrative detention, known as internment, during the 1970s but discontinued the practice because it did more harm than good in exacerbating conflict. Britain makes limited use of administrative measures today, called control orders, but these stop short of DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL,…”.

            Question:

            Do you, Bryan, STILL stand by that?

            (The question is very clear and very simple. A “Yes-“ or “No answer” will do. Have the courage and moral strength to be honest and answer. Old and moral men do not lie, but have the courage to admit mistakes where they made one. Pls. stop obfuscating, getting all emotional and sentimental and ranting childishly about some fuzzy morality and “hasbara rules”. Lets deal with what everyone can fact-check, ok?)

            Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          Stop your irrational obsession with- and deranged hatred of Muslim Arabs, “Ginger Eis”! But who am I kidding here anyway? Obsession with Muslim Arabs is a mental illness and tomorrow “Ginger Eis” will recycle and regurgitate (with hairball) the same propaganda again!

          Reply to Comment
          • C. C. DeVille

            Brian, you and yoir argument lack substance. I’m afraid that parroting makes you look simple.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Oh I agree it looks simple-minded alright. Because it’s parroting Eis word for word. I reserve the right to ridicule the ridiculous. Je suis Charlie.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Plagiarism. What you do is called plagiarism, nitwit! Don’t have a mind of your own to come up with something original? Next you will copy and paste the opinions of pundits to compensate for you empty mind. Just hilarious.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            No I wrote “with hairball” and here it is right on schedule.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            What a compulsive obsessive fool you are, Brian. You need to take your ADHD meds, nitwit!

            Reply to Comment
        • Zeus

          Moderator, I don’t see my post, so I post it again:

          Ginger Eis,

          Can you post where International law “explicitly” allows for administrative detention? Can you also show the UK law that allows for the same? Thank you.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Administrative detention under International law

            GC IV, Article 42 and GC IV, Article 78, (GC IV = Fourth Geneva Convention), make it explicitly clear that internment and assigned residence, otherwise known as “administrative detention”, are legal instruments of control that a Detaining Authority or Occupying Power may apply with respect to protected persons who have not been charged with a crime in a criminal procedure. These measures may only be used if the security of the State makes it “absolutely necessary” (GC IV, Article 42) or for “imperative reasons of security” (GC IV, Article 78). See also GC IV, Article 41, and GC IV Article 43 – for the due process requirement. The Israeli administrative detention meets the requirements of International law.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Administrative detention in The United Kingdom

            UK’s 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act, allows for the imposition of “control orders” – i.e. restrictions on an individual’s movements, communications or other freedoms when the government “has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the individual is or has been involved in terrorism-related activity,” which is further defined as:
            (a) the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism;
            (b) conduct which facilitates the commission, preparation or instigation of such acts, or which is intended to do so;
            (c) conduct which gives encouragement to the commission, preparation or instigation of such acts, or which is intended to do so;
            (d) conduct which gives support or assistance to individuals who are known or believed to be involved in terrorism-related activity.
            The UK’s Prevention of Terrorism Act is draconian and imposes more restrictions than comparable Israeli law. The exact text of the UK Prevention of Terrorism Act can be read here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/2/contents

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Yes but Britain’s approach is not the sane as Israel’s approach of lock them up and throw away they key. In defence of British and American justice far too much has been heard from the security apparatchiks who deliberately exploited 9/11 to falsely portray the west as besieged by Islamic militants when much Islamic militancy is simply a reaction to the criminal exploitation of colonial regimes (who have also encouraged Islamism as a counter-weight to secular nationalism).

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            “Yes”

            Now, that’s quite a concession. Finally you are admitting that Britain does practice administrative detention today. If I misread you, pls. lets us know.

            “but Britain’s approach is not the sane as Israel’s approach of lock them up and throw away they key”.

            Can you actually use the law and make arguments supported by facts to support this yet another “bold” idiotic claim or do you think that slogans and clichés are substitutes for facts? Make arguments supported by facts AND cite both Israeli, British and American law to show us what/where the differences are? Do you have the brain-power to do that or are you going to run away like a scared little old man?

            Reply to Comment
          • Zeus

            Ginger Eis

            Thanks for your reply. I have another question. Can the UK use control orders to imprison someone without trial and for how long. Thank you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Zeus

            Re: Imprisonment in the UK WITHOUT trial: PTA-administrative Order

            1. The answer to the first part of the question is – YES (Section 1(2)(b) PTA).
            2. The answer to the second part of the question is – SIX months (Section 4(8) PTA) and is – as need be – extendable thereafter for periods of SIX months (Section 4(9) PTA).
            3. There are two kinds of control orders: (a) “derogating control orders” section 1(2)(b) PTA) and (b) “non-derogating control orders” (Section 1(2)(a) PTA). “Derogating control orders” are the only orders that can be used to either imprison a person or subjects the person to house arrest WITHOUT trial. They are called “derogating”, because they derogate Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which forbids imprisonment without trial.
            4. The ground for “derogating control orders” is a reasonable suspicion that the “controlled person” has been- and/or is involved in terrorism-related activities and the obligations imposed on him connected to protecting the public from the risk of terrorism (Section 4(3) PTA).

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            UK Procedure imprisonment without trial

            To impose a “derogating control Order” the Home Secretary (HS) must apply to the High Court Judge (HCJ) (Section 4(1) PTA). Pending HCJ consideration of the request, the police may arrest the “controlled person” and detain him (Section 5 PTA). The HCJ will grant or reject the a request in an Ex-parte hearing, i.e. in the absence of the “controlled person” who has no legal right to be present or represented at said hearing and no right to be given notice of the application (Section 4(2)(a)(b)(c) PTA). The “derogating control order” issued at the preliminary hearing is effective from the moment of issuance to the time when the HCJ makes a determination to either confirm, modify or revoke the order in a “full hearing” (Sections 4(4)(a)(b), 4(5)(a)(b), 4(6)(a)(b) and 4(7)(a)-(d) PTA). The “full hearing” meant above is not a full hearing in any normal sense, because the decision to impose a control order is based on (a) mere suspicion that the detainee has been and/or is engaged in terrorism related activities and (b) secret intelligence which the detainee is unable to see and most often than not powerless to dispute. In 2009, the Law Lords (of the House Of Lords) ruled that the requirements of due process are satisfied if the detainee is provided with just enough “information” to defend himself. This is at least the case if “the thrust of the case is effectively conveyed to the controlled person by way of summary, redacted documents or anonymised statements” (see Secretary Of State for Home Department v E, [2007] UKHL 47). This is also how it works in Israel – see my last post.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Re: administrative detention in Israel

            Currently Israel employs three different administrative detention regimes to detain Israelis (the Emergency Powers Law, known as the IDL), Palestinians from the West Bank (Military Administrative Detention Order, known as the MDO), and unlawful foreign combatants (the Unlawful Combatants Law). The maximum period of incarceration based on any of these regimes is SIX months – that can be extended. The ground for incarceration is the same as under the UK Prevention Of Terrorism Act.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Israel: Procedure Administrative detention

            I will limit myself here to the MDO which is the only instrument that appears important to the folks here. Under the MDO, the Military Commander issues the detention Order and detains the detainee, who must be presented before a Military Judge within 96hrs where he can challenge the decision of the Military Commander. The ground for the Order are provided to him in summary, redacted documents and anonymised statements. If he loses he has automatic right to appeal the decision of the Military Judge to the Military Appeals Court. If he loses that Appeal, he has automatic right to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court. All these judicial instances (the Military Judge, the Military Appeals Judge and the Supreme Court) have full powers to confirm, amend or revoke the detention Order, which is AUTOMATICALLY reviewed every THREE months! The legal test applied by these Courts whether or not there is reasonable suspicion that the detainee is involved in terrorism related activities, if his incarceration is necessary to protecting the public from the risk of terrorism and if said incarceration is proportionate to the danger he poses. Is the British regime better than Israel’s and vice versa? I don’t know. I don’t see any substantive difference. But you decide!

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Bryan,

            I think it is time for you to own up to your mistake, thank Ginger for the excellent info she has provided and apologize to her for your rants up-thread, if you are a man of “truth and justice” as you claim. Do you have the courage and the decency to do that?

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            These comparisons of the narrow statutory basis of detention regimes, however accurate or inaccurate they may or may not be in themselves–are only the first layer of a meaningful analysis. Remember, letter and spirit. None of these tedious law clerk exercises say a thing about how these statutory structures are actually applied to human beings in actual cases over a periods of time, how fairly or unfairly, how honestly or not, how corruptly or not, how much judges and other court officers are corrupted by political pressures or sheer racism. None of this contains an analysis,statistical or individual case-based, of the whole system.

            These articles here, however, do approach these other layers of the system, and they are not reassuring, to say the least:

            http://972mag.com/israel-admits-administrative-detention-unnecessary/44673/

            Less than three weeks after at least 1,400 Palestinians in Israeli prisons launched a widespread hunger strike, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Thursday made several astounding admissions regarding Israel’s use of administrative detention. In private meetings with security officials, Aharonovitch called for reducing Israel’s use of the practice, applying it “only if there is a need and not in all cases,” according to a Haaretz report.

            He was in effect admitting that the practice is being used even when it is not necessary, if one accepts that it is ever necessary. Furthermore he seemed to be conceding that Israel uses administrative detention instead of carrying out thorough criminal or intelligence investigations….

            http://972mag.com/israels-broken-promises-to-curb-administrative-detention/101292/

            Israel has made — and subsequently broken — all sorts of promises, both in individual cases and regarding the practice of administrative detention itself.

            …Administrative detention is an extreme measure that is meant to be used sparingly and moderately. Administrative detainees are imprisoned — potentially — indefinitely despite not having been charged with a crime. They are not given so much as an opportunity to defend themselves….

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          • Zeus

            @ Ginger Eis,

            Thanks. Great job!

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          • The RaMBaM

            @ Brian,

            Thanks. Great!

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