Saturday, July 04, 2020

As Israel‘s crackdown nears end of 12th day, administrative detention numbers soar

June 24, 2014
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Samer Issawi ] [Collective Punishment] [Administrative detention]

Israeli soldiers patrol during a military operation to search for three missing teenagers outside the West Bank city of Hebron.

Israel’s ongoing campaign of mass raids, allegedly in connection to the disappearance of the Israeli teens 12 days ago, seems to be slowing down. The question now is how many prisoners will Israel indefinitely hold on to via administrative detention? 

Israeli forces arrested 13 Palestinians in the Hebron district overnight as part of the ongoing crackdown across the occupied territories. The infamous hunger striker, Samer Issawi, was also arrested from his home in East Jerusalem.   

 Of the more than 500 Palestinians arrested thus far, 53 were released from Israeli prisons in 2011 as part of a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas for the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. According to Gavan Kelly, Advocacy Coordinator at the Ramallah based prisoner support and human rights group, Addameer, this number is likely to increase.

Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein sent a request on Tuesday morning to the Haifa District Court asking authorities to re-incarcerate all seven Palestinians from Jerusalem who were released as part of the Shalit deal, local press reported. The seven men, including Samer Issawi, were detained over the last week during raids ostensibly in connection with Israel’s search efforts for the three missing teenagers.

Weinstien’s request states that each one of the prisoners violated the terms of his release (i.e. returning to 'terror’ activity) and must return to jail to carry out his original sentence.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 147 of the more than 500 Palestinians detained over the last 12 days have been placed in administrative detention, according to Kelly. They are held on secret evidence without charges or trial. Most of the detention orders are for renewable periods of three to six months.

 “Under Israeli military orders, they have eight days from the initial arrest to do something with the prisoners. They can either be charged and sentenced, released without charges or held via administrative detention,” Kelly told Palestine Monitor. “What we’re seeing now is clearly an attempt by Israel to retain as many detainees as possible.” 

The number of administrative detention orders seems to correspond with the number of arrests made eight days before. “It’s not clear how many will be placed in administrative detention but we are definitely expecting the number to increase,” Kelly said.

Despite claims yesterday by Israeli authorities that the campaign of raids and arrests had reached its end, Israeli troops continue to enter private homes across the West Bank, said Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, chairman of the Palestinian National Initiative.

“We have heard reports of stolen phones, money, jewelry,” Barghouti told the Palestine Monitor. “Not only is the army violating international law, it is violating the privacy and ownership of every house. No one in the occupied Palestinian territories feels safe. Everyone is vulnerable.”

The ongoing military campaign is generally considered to be Israel’s most extensive military deployment since the Second Intifada. Israeli troops have killed five Palestinians and injured dozens throughout the course of the search operation. 

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