This scene of Israeli soldiers manhandling Palestinian protesters is so common in the West Bank that it’s almost not newsworthy–except that hundreds continue to be arrested & held under “administrative detention”, which means without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders can range from one to six months in length & can be arbitrarily extended an indefinite number of times up to five years by Israeli military courts. 5,000 Palestinians are presently in Israeli custody, including 200 children. About 550 of these are administrative detainees, including 13 children under the age of 18.
It’s embarrassing to read Zionist defenses of administrative detention; they claim Israel’s denial of the basic standards of due process (like being told what you’re accused of) are “security precautions” & that Palestinians who protest this egregious violation of international law are just grandstanding for media attention & to make Israeli justice look bad.
In late April of this year, 120 Palestinian administrative detainees began a hunger strike in protest because, in the style of Guantanamo, they have no idea why they’re sitting in jail or for how long. Contrary to the rubbish spewed by hateful Zionists, media attention seems a damn good idea if they ever want to get out of prison. Over the past several weeks, hundreds of non-administrative detainees joined the hunger strike in solidarity, bringing the total number now to 1,500.
A UN Special Committee to assess Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights concluded their recent fact-finding tour with an appeal to Israel to end administrative detention of Palestinians, even though International law does allow administrative detention in exceptional circumstances. (The only exceptional circumstances that seem worthy are the detainment of White House & Pentagon officials for war crimes, but it’s unlikely the UN would agree on this.) Of particular concern to the UN committee is that the Israeli government is vigorously promoting a bill in the Knesset to allow force-feeding the hunger strikers. The invidious comparison with Guantanamo is complete.
Solidarity protests throughout Gaza & the West Bank have been going on for the past several weeks, including very moving candle vigils. Apparently in the West Bank, the Israeli military just views these protests as another place to pick up Palestinian activists for detention. This young Palestinian being attacked by three Israeli soldiers is protesting in solidarity at the Qalandia checkpoint near the city of Ramallah.
Stand with Palestinian justice & support the hunger strikers by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729), by supporting the cultural boycott of Israel, & by demanding “No military aid to Israel!”
(Photo by Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)