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military law

  • Applying the law by ethnicity: Israel's dual legal systems explained

    In the occupied West Bank, everyone is subject to Israeli military law. Unless, of course, you're an Israeli settler. The dual legal systems — separate laws and court systems for different people in the same territory — are one of the reasons some refer to Israel's occupation as apartheid. Video by Tal Frieden. Story editing by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man

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  • Netanyahu is right: Settlements aren't the biggest obstacle to peace

    The prime minister published a video accusing the Palestinians — and the world — of ethnic cleansing for opposing Israeli settlements. Not so fast. Almost as if for sport, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu released an English video on Friday. It is just two minutes long but packed with chatter-rich material: the Palestinians are guilty of ethnic cleansing. The world is complicit. Nobody stands up for the Jewish victims of this crime except for Netanyahu. Therefore, settlements are no obstacle to peace. [tmwinpost] These are grave charges. Why describe Netanyahu’s video as a game? It’s not his smirking self-righteousness. Rather, the clip…

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  • Most Israeli Jews think there's no occupation. So what is it?

    A recent poll finds that 72 percent of Jewish Israelis believe Israel's control over the Palestinian territories does not constitute occupation. So what do you call military rule over a captive population that didn't vote for the army to be there? Depending on who you speak to, the word "occupation" is either the most loaded or the most ignored term in Israel-Palestine. For some, it's a canard bandied about by traitorous leftists who want nothing more than to destroy the country by smearing it into oblivion; many believe that Israel cannot occupy territory that the bible says was promised by…

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  • Will Jewish terrorism suspects get a 'fair trial?'

    Had a Palestinian committed the exact same crime in the exact same location, he would find himself in an entirely different justice system. Maybe 'fair' is relative. Israel's justice minister on Sunday said she "hopes" that the alleged Jewish terrorists indicted for murdering three members of the Dawabshe family will receive a fair and just trial. Hopes. [tmwinpost] According to Haaretz's Chaim Levinson and Barak Ravid, Justice Minister Shaked declined to clarify whether her hope amounts to trust in the court system or whether believes the suspects will receive a fair trial. (The Justice Ministry was quick to release a tersely-worded statement,…

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  • Israel must provide alternatives to prison for Palestinian minors

    It's time to advocate for the mental health treatment and education of Palestinian children detained in Israeli military prisons. Untreated post-traumatic stress disorder will only fuel their continued hatred and aggression towards the authorities. By Leah R. Platkin A painfully violent video went viral last month, showing two Israeli soldiers ordering dogs to attack a 16-year-old Palestinian Hamza Abu Hashem. The incident took place months earlier but the video was only circulated in March by former Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, on the eve of Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. Ben Ari hoped the video would teach Palestinian children a lesson,…

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  • Partial win: No jail for Palestinian activist who blocked bulldozer

    Abdullah Abu Rahmah is levied a fine and a suspended sentence for standing in front of a bulldozer. 'I will continue my struggle and my protest, because it is our right,' he says. In his sentencing hearing, the military prosecution described Abu Rahmah's nonviolent protest as an ideological crime. By Yael Marom The Israeli army’s Ofer Military Court in the West Bank handed down a four-month suspended sentence and a NIS 5,000 ($1,290)to Abdullah Abu Rahmah, a central organizer of Bil’in’s nonviolent protests. Abu Rahmah, one of the central activists in the Palestinian popular struggle in the West Bank, was recognized…

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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 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…

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  • Judges aren't cogs in the occupation, they're the oil keeping it going

    A new report maps out the two separate legal systems in the occupied territories — one for Jews and one for Arabs. At a launch event for the report, senior jurists showed up and argued it's not their fault whatsoever. Former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner asked: What can we do? The answer: A lot. (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) There was something mesmerizing about listening to representatives of the legal establishment speak at a conference held by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) last week. Mesmerizing and terrifying. The hardest thing was hearing Dalia Dorner —…

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  • Resource: Two legal systems — discrimination under military occupation

    One of the most prominent and disturbing characteristics of Israeli military rule in the West Bank is the creation and development of an official and institutionalized legal regime of two separate legal systems, on an ethnic-national basis. The long-standing residence of citizens of the State of Israel, the occupying power, in settlements at the heart of the occupied territory – which contravenes international law in and of itself – has led to systematic discrimination that is anchored in legislation and rulings that affect every aspect in the lives of Palestinian residents of the West Bank. This dual system of law…

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  • 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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  • 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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  • For West Bank protesters, legal knowledge is power

    Anyone who’s been to a checkpoint or a protest in the West Bank knows how arbitrary military rule can be. For the activist on the ground, some specific knowledge of the occupation’s byzantine legal framework can make a real difference. By Raghad Jaraisy Youtube is rife with videos of daily life in the West Bank – home demolitions, violent suppression of protests, unchecked settler violence, arbitrary arrests, etc.  But this video, from the organization Ta'ayush, is a little different. If other videos play out like action films, this one is more of a drama. No fisticuffs, no bulldozers, no tear gas or rubber bullets.…

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