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  • Court allows lawless occupation due to “special circumstances”

    In Israel, exceptions to the law justify the occupation, and protective measures do not protect those to whom the measures are applied. The state of exception is slowly but surely crossing the green line. By Noam Wiener Twice in the last few days, “special circumstances” have made news in Israel. First, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested setting aside regular criminal procedure and trying settlers who are suspected of terrorizing the Palestinian population in special courts. Second, the Israeli Supreme Court used the special nature of the Israeli occupation as a justification in its decision on quarrying rights in the West…

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  • Shin Bet releases detained Al-Jazeera reporter after 49 days' imprisonment

    How the occupation justice system saved face in the case of Samer Allawi In his influential book about the occupation circa early 1987, “The Yellow Wind,” David Grossman describes an unusual scene in a military court in the West Bank. The defense shows incontrovertible proof that the defendant cannot possibly be guilty of the crime attributed to him. This causes a problem, which Orwell first expressed in his “To shoot an Elephant”: Acquitting the defendant means the occupier can err, which may cause derision towards him; Convicting him, on the other hand, is a clear travesty which may cause unrest.…

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  • Why are the security forces detaining hundreds in Awarta?

    Former IDF Chief Rabbi calls for collective punishment of Palestinian villages in the West Bank In 1990, I was serving as an operations sergeant in the Dir El Balah – a town in the Gaza Strip – in the so-called Civil Administration. On Rosh Hashana of that year, a reservist soldier named Amnon Pomeranz made a fatal error and took the wrong turn. Instead of reaching the Buriej military camp, he reached the Buriej refugee camp. He panicked, drove backwards too fast, and ran over two children. He drove blindly forward, and the vehicle hit a road. An angry mob formed quickly, started throwing…

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  • Charges against Gazan engineer show strip is still occupied

    Dirar Abu Sisi was kidnapped by Israeli agents in Ukraine. He is charged with developing rockets, missiles and mortar shells for Hamas Israel has kidnapped, apparently with the Ukrainian authorities turning a blind eye, a Gazan engineer named Dirar Abu Sisi. He was detained for several weeks under the usual schtick of a double gag order: one gag order preventing making public the fact that he is held, another denying the public the right to know there is a gag order. This buys the GSS (Internal Security Service) precious torture time, and allows him to present the prisoner to the…

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  • Whistleblower of IDF crimes is smeared by Internal Security

    Anat Kamm was convicted of divulging secret information – but the GSS smeared her as a dangerous spy Yesterday, a plea bargain was signed in the Anat Kamm case, and she pled guilty (Hebrew) to felonies she obviously committed: unauthorized possession of secret information and unauthorized delivery of it to unauthorized personnel. In return, the prosecution will not claim she did so “with the intention of harming state security”, which could have sent her to a life sentence. Today, the court eased her house arrest (Hebrew), allowing her to leave her house – probably because it finally realized she is…

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  • IDF on Bil'in: spins, half-truths and lies

    Jawahar Abu-Rahmah of Bil'in was rushed to Ramallah hospital last Friday during an unarmed protest against the fence in her village. She passed away Saturday morning.  Her death gained relatively  wide publicity, and the IDF scramble to  pushing its own version of the story, first claiming that Abu-Rahamh took part in a violent riot, and later saying she wasn't even there, and the whole thing was a Palestinian hoax. As it happens, I was in Bil'in on Friday, so I got the opportunity to compare the IDF's version with what I saw with my own eyes, and with what I…

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  • Israel's internal security service going after leftwing protesters

    Another activist received an invitation to a meeting with Shabak. After refusing, he was warned that it would be in his best interest to come Yesterday, I reported here on two members of the leftwing group Anarchists against the Wall that were invited to a meetings with a Shabak (Israel's internal security agency) operator calling herself "Rona". Apparently, this was the same person who conducted a political interrogation of former IDF pilot Yonatan Shapira a few months ago. Today (Tuesday), a third activist received a phone call from "Rona", asking him to report to a meeting with her. The activist…

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  • Two more activists invited for "friendly chat" by Shin Bet

    One activist warned that his actions are known to the GSS; other chose to decline the invitation Two Israeli activists that take part in protests in the West Bank have been summoned to informal investigations by Israel's General Security Service, the Shabak (formally Shin Beit). According to the two, they received phone calls inviting them for what was described as "a talk" with a GSS investigator named Rona. A few months ago, Yonatan Shapira, a former IDF pilot, was summoned for such a meeting in Tel Aviv with a female investigator calling herself Rona. According to an account Shapira published,…

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  • Israeli Police: violent, trigger-happy and politically biased

    By Eyal Clyne | Translation: Dana Shunra This week, a policeman shot and killed a suspect. The deceased was suspected of harassment, of resisting arrest and of simply being too obsessive. There are those who also say he was suspected of an attempted vehicular assault, and he discovered that these were capital crimes. The late suspect was lucky not to be an Arab. As a Jew, the circumstances of his death are at the very least questioned. It also turns out that the suspect may have been obsessive, but the policeman also demonstrated some obsessiveness of his own. Rather than…

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  • The Light-Bringers: on Anat Kamm, Bradley Manning and Wikileaks

    Wikileaks, Anat Kamm and Bradley Manning expose the corrupting power of secrecy. The whistleblowing site Wikileaks published during the weekend some 392,000 classified military documents, which it received, in all likelihood, from a US army soldier, Bradley Manning, who is already on trial. The documents, published in tandem with the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel, caught the Pentagon with its pants down. They show that, in contrast to the Pentagon’s official lie, that it had no idea how many civilians were killed in Iraq, it had – and a rather accurate one; they expose American chief ally,…

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  • Becoming a GSS state

    The government is considering a Terror Bill, which is rather a newfangled thing: at the moment we have that cherished British heirloom, the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, and some bits and pieces of it haphazardly passed into law. Unfortunately, the suggested bill is likely to make the already unhealthy Israeli democracy even more moribund. I wish to thank ACRI for their definitive guide to the bill (both are Hebrew PDF files). The bill is problematic in many ways. The destruction of “government symbols” (pg.6) will be considered a terrorist act - i.e., if you burn an Israeli flag, you…

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