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rule of law

  • The audacity of unchecked power in Khan al-Ahmar

    An entire Palestinian village is facing destruction. What follows will dictate the fate of Palestinian communities all over the West Bank.  By Hagai El-Ad Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s recent op-ed in the Jerusalem Post – designed to whitewash the war crime of the destruction of an entire Palestinian community in the occupied West Bank – is riddled with lies and distortions. [tmwinpost] The very premise he posits in his opening sentence is untrue. Liberman writes of “a judicial ruling for the relocation of a small group of squatters from Khan al-Ahmar.” The High Court of Justice's ruling, however, actually addressed…

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  • Will Israel investigate the beatings of Palestinian detainees?

    A new video in which soldiers beat a handcuffed Palestinian detainee poses a challenge to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked: will she call to investigate this incident, or are investigations reserved solely for persecuting political rivals? By Yariv Mohar A video of IDF soldiers beating a young Palestinian man in handcuffs, filmed earlier this week, puts Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked’s moral commitments to the test. Not long ago, Shaked publicly called for an investigation into an incident involving Breaking the Silence spokesman Dean Issacharoff, who claimed to have beaten a Palestinian as a solider in Hebron. “The IDF is the…

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  • The question Israel still hasn't answered about Rabin's murder

    There is nothing wrong with inviting those who resisted Rabin’s policies to speak at the rally in his memory. But they need to answer one fundamental question first. By Tomer Persico Every murder is terrible in its own way, but political murder is uniquely terrible. Political murder—for example, the assassination of an elected leader—erodes the legitimacy of democratic rule and aims to replace the authority of the people with a different authority: that of an ideology or theology belonging to an individual or particular group. [tmwinpost] The murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is significant not only because of the…

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  • For settlers, there's no reason not to break the law

    How Israeli authorities avoid their duty to indict settlers who build illegally on other people's land. By Yossi Gurvitz/Yesh Din In August 2009, the residents of Kfar Aqeb, a Palestinian village near Ramallah, noticed 12 illegal structures being built on their land near the settlement of Kochav Ya’akov. The residents urgently petitioned the High Court of Justice, assisted by Yesh Din, demanding the court order an immediate halt to the construction. What happened next is a microcosm of the behavior of the law enforcement apparatus in the occupied Palestinian territories. [tmwinpost] The IDF's Civil Administration issued work stoppage orders on…

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  • Will Israel be in a 'state of emergency' forever?

    The anti-terror law passed through Israel's Knesset last week without one of its scariest pieces, the normalization of administrative detention, which remains dependent on the country's 67-year-old self-declared state of emergency. That could have a bizarre consequence. A new anti-terrorism bill passed by Israel’s Knesset last week may have actually perpetuated the single, looming problem its writers set out to solve — ending Israel’s 67-year state of emergency. The bill is one of many pushed through the Knesset in recent years as part of an effort to eventually revoke the country’s declared state of emergency, initially declared by the British Mandate government in…

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  • Indictment of Hebron shooter divides Israelis – but where are the Palestinians?

    A mass rally in support of Sgt. Elor Azaria, who was filmed shooting a wounded Palestinian, has stirred a heated debate on social media about the future of the rule of law and the status of the IDF. But nobody wondered how the Palestinians should be factored in. By Orly Noy The Israeli soldier who was caught on camera shooting a wounded Palestinian knifeman has been indicted for manslaughter, the military prosecution said on Monday. Meanwhile, a mini brouhaha erupted over a solidarity concert for the soldier, who following the indictment can be named as Sergeant Elor Azaria, that is…

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  • More and more Israelis are being imprisoned without trial

    Out of 402 people Israel was holding in administrative detention at the start of November, at least 31 were citizens or residents of Israel. Over the past decade, Israel has held 3,761 people without trial. By Noam Rotem Israel held at least 31 of its own residents and citizens in administrative detention during the month of November, according to a Knesset Research and Information Center report obtained by +972’s Hebrew-language sister site Local Call. That is a very large number when compared to the number of Israelis who have been held in administrative detention in recent years. [tmwinpost] According to…

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  • A vicious cycle of lawlessness in the West Bank

    The IDF has all but refused to fulfill its obligation to hold Israeli settlers accountable under the law and to protect Palestinians from them. By Eyal Hareuveni For nearly 50 years the Israeli army has been treating settler violence against Palestinians as a decree of fate, some sort of force majeure that trumps it in the territories otherwise under its control and responsibility. In other words, the army has dealt with the phenomenon without actually dealing with it. [tmwinpost] International law, however, is quite clear that the occupying power, the Israeli army in this case, has an obligation to preserve…

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  • For one Palestinian village: A judge, settler and demolisher

    The High Court justice who gave the army a green light to expel an entire Palestinian village just happens to live in a nearby settlement, one of many that thrives on their dispossession. By Dror Etkes The Israeli army’s Civil Administration has issued 70 demolition orders in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut, and 70 demolition orders in the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susya over the years. Beyond that coincidental number, the two towns don’t have much else in common. Located in Gush Etzion, just south of Jerusalem, Alon Shvut is one of the most prosperous and well-established…

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  • How does the army please settlers? By upping its violence

    When the settlers of Halamish complained that the IDF isn’t being violent enough, a brigadier-general assured them that he orders his troops to use unnecessary force against Palestinians.  By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Near the Palestinian villages of Dir Nizam and Nabi Salah lies a settlement named Halamish, also known as Neve Tsuf. About a month ago, after Palestinians threw stones at their vehicles, the settlers of Halamish took the law into their own hands and began “securing” the road leading to the settlement. The IDF didn’t like the initiative, but – lo and behold – did not…

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  • Palestinians ruled by secret regulations even the army can't explain

    Whether they want to attend family gatherings, open a business or visit sick relatives, Palestinians under occupation must adhere to military regulations, the vast majority of which are hidden from public scrutiny. By Maayan Niezna "There are no secret laws in Israel. […] Legislation that is passed secretly and kept away from the eye of the public is one of the characteristics of a totalitarian government, and is not in line with the rule of law" (Judge Cohen, Civil Appeal 421/61, State of Israel v. Haz [4], pg. 2204-2205) No one knows why, but Israel has a regulation that prevents Palestinians…

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  • 'Administrative detainees must have done something wrong'

    When discussing administrative detention with Israelis, there comes a point when the discussion becomes an argument like one about religion -- based on blind faith in the security establishment. By definition, administrative detainees have not committed a crime. An administrative detention order is issued against people (almost all of whom are Palestinians) against whom there is no evidentiary basis to be put on trial. None at all. Because there is no evidence, there is also no indictment, no trial, no opportunity for the detainee to dispute the charges against him, no conviction and no verdict or sentencing to determine the…

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  • West Bank riot illustrates essence of occupation

    When residents of one of the most radical settlements in the West Bank terrorized their Palestinian neighbors, the army and police did what they are becoming known for doing: absolutely nothing. By Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz) On April 25th, 2013, Raed Mahmoud Ahmad Sabah was in his house in the village of 'Urif when he noticed three Israeli civilians, all wearing hoods, approaching his house from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar. Shortly afterwards, a settlement security vehicle joined the group, and out stepped a man who Sabah identified as a settlement security officer. Several minutes late, two IDF…

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