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Addameer: Massive arrest campaigns from October 7 to 24

Numbers are from October 7 to October 24, 2023

Report on Ongoing Mass Arrest Campaigns and the Situation in Israeli Prisons since the Beginning of the Aggression against Palestinians

 
Ramallah – ADDAMEER: Since the beginning of the military operation launched by the occupation against the Palestinian people in various locations, events have escalated gradually, leading to a significant increase in violations by the occupying authorities against Palestinians. From the beginning of the aggression until today, the number of martyrs in Gaza has exceeded 5926, with more than half of them being children and women. The number of martyrs in the occupied West Bank reached about 101. As events escalated, the occupying forces began conducting massive arrest campaigns that continue in various cities and villages of the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem. The total number of arrests from October 7th until today is more than 1266 detainees, including approximately 32 female detainees, 14 journalists, and 13 members of the Legislative Council. Additionally, there are more than 18  child arrested and around 22 university students.As for the occupied territories of 1948, a number of Palestinians have been arrested. Until now, we cannot determine the exact number, including activists, lawyers, and artists, based on posts on social media and the charge of helping the enemy during war.

Apart from the arrest cases, a number of students have been expelled from universities based on social media posts related to the aggression on Gaza.

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Palestinian Detainees from Gaza

Regarding the detainees from Gaza, accurate information about the actual numbers is not available yet. However, initial information from Palestinian prisoner organizations indicate that their number has reached about 4000 detainees, including those arrested during the battles and Palestinian workers who were present inside the occupied territory after October 7th.

The Israeli Minister of Security issued an order stating that Palestinian detainees from Gaza will be held in a camp called “Sdeh Teiman,” which is a military camp near Be’er AlSabe’, considering them as “unlawful combatants” based on the “Unlawful Combatants Law” issued in 2002. The organizations also noted the extension of detention for another group of detainees (approximately 50 detainees) for the purpose of interrogation, and they will be tried under the anti-terrorism law, allowing detainees to be denied access to their lawyer for up to 21 days.

Palestinian prisoner organizations and lawyers also face difficulty in accessing the missing Palestinians, as the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) does not provide information about the place of the missing. Lawyers are still prohibited from visiting detainees in the camps of “Anatout”, a military camp near Jerusalem, and Sdeh Teiman camp, preventing them from assessing the conditions of detention and verifying the presence of the missing in these military camps.

Instructions have also been issued to the police on how to deal with entry into the occupied Palestinian territories without a permit, according to the “Entry and Residence in Israel Law Contrary to the Law for the Year 1952.” The instructions state the following:

  • Any person entering Israel without a permit, even if it is their first entry, will be presented with an indictment. This applies to residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • In case a person is inside Israel based on a permit but violates its conditions, an indictment for “violation of permit conditions” will be presented.
  • If a person entered Israel based on a permit and did not violate its conditions, but their entry was after the Throne Day and the war, they will not be presented with an indictment, and they will be returned to the areas of the West Bank.

Policy of Collective Punishment Against Detainees and Their Families During Arrest Campaigns

Several violations falling within the policy of collective punishment practiced by the occupation authorities against the Palestinian people have emerged during recent arrest campaigns. Palestinian Prisoner organizations have documented the use of brutal beatings and field interrogations by occupation soldiers, as well as threats of murder and rape, the use of police dogs, and the use of civilians as human shields. Additionally, there have been cases of home destruction and assaults on detainees’ families prior to their arrest, excessive force during arrests, and the use of detainees’ families as hostages.

*The occupation employs a policy of collective punishment against prisoners inside prisons and detention centers…

Since the declaration of a state of emergency by the occupation, and the beginning of the aggression against the Palestinians, the (IPS) isolated the prisoners inside the occupation’s prisons. On the second day of the aggression (October 8, 2023), the (IPS) implemented a series of retaliatory and punitive measures against the prisoners. This included closing sections in all prisons, confiscating available TV stations for prisoners, increasing the jamming devices for communications, in addition to banning lawyer and family visits in all prisons. The frequency of cell searches for prisoners also increased. The suppression forces stormed the women’s section in Damoun prison using gas, cut off electricity, and isolated the representative of the women prisoners, Marah Bakir, transferring her to Jalameh prison.

The (IPS) did not stop at these punitive measures. They also worked to withdraw food items from various prisons and closed the canteen, providing only two very small and poor-quality meals a day. This constitutes a deliberate starvation process practiced by the (IPS) to retaliate against and torment the prisoners, without considering any of the humanitarian standards that guarantee the prisoners their basic rights to live and eat inside the prisons. In addition, the occupation authorities deprived sick prisoners of their right to treatment from the beginning of the aggression, by closing the prison clinics and preventing prisoners from going to external clinics and hospitals. This poses a significant risk to the lives of detainees and prisoners, as dozens of them suffer from severe and chronic diseases, especially cancer patients who need prompt treatment. This deliberate medical neglect aims to torment and slowly kill the prisoners. The (IPS) also crowded detainees into overcrowded prisons, forcing many of them to sleep on the floor.

In light of the punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners, the heightened isolation imposed on them due to electricity cuts and the prevention of family and lawyer visits, and in the context of the solitary confinement of prisoners, the (IPS)announced last night, Monday, October 23, 2023, the martyrdom of the released prisoner and administrative detainee Omar Draghma, 58 years old from Tubas. So far, we have not been able to verify the reason for the detainee’s martyrdom due to the imposition of isolation on prisoners. According to Draghma’s lawyer, he was able to attend the judicial review session (the confirmation session) via video conference on the same day and was in good health, showing no signs of illness or fatigue at that time, before his martyrdom was announced hours later. The Israeli army arrested Draghma on October 9th, along with his son, as part of a series of arrests carried out by the occupation authorities in Tubas. It should be noted that he was a released prisoner who had spent several years in occupation prisons.

*Sharp Increase in the Number of Administrative Detainees Since the Beginning of the Aggression…

Since the start of the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinians, and with the escalating pace of arrests and continuous raids on Palestinian cities and villages, the number of administrative detainees has significantly risen. According to “Hamoked,” since the beginning of the month, the number of new administrative detainees has increased to about 295, bringing the total number of administrative detainees to more than 1614 until today, held without charge or trial. The total number of administrative detention orders, including renewals and new orders, has reached about 330.

It’s worth mentioning that within the wide-scale arrest campaigns, the occupation authorities deliberately utilized the policy of extending administrative detention against detainees who had already obtained substantive court decisions. This falls under the policy of collective reprisal against detainees and their families.

*The Occupation Works to Impede the Work of lawyers in Military Courts…

Since the start of the Israeli aggression against Palestinians, and the increase in the number of Palestinian detainees in occupation prisons, the occupation authorities have worked to obstruct and restrict the work of lawyers. In the first week of the aggression, lawyers were completely prohibited from visiting prisoners in Israeli prisons. In the second week, some lawyers were allowed to visit certain prisons under complex and delaying procedures. Additionally, the (IPS) does not cooperate with lawyers in cases of locating new detainees or detainees from Gaza. This leads to a loss of communication between the detainee, their lawyer, and their family. Lawyers need 48 hours to find out the detainee’s location. Furthermore, military court sessions (Ofer and Salem) for various trial proceedings have been postponed.

*Occupation Authorities Make Several Amendments to Laws and Military Orders Amid Their Ongoing Aggression Against Palestinians

Among the recent measures, the occupation activated Article 33 of Military Order No. 1651, which stipulates procedures for arrest “in a military campaign to combat terrorism.” This allows the detention of a person for 8 days before being presented to the court, instead of 96 hours, automatically preventing them from meeting their lawyer for two days.

Since the start of the Israeli aggression, the occupation declared a state of emergency. The occupation issued and amended some orders related to detainees and prisoners inside the prisons. On October 7, 2023, the decision to convert court sessions to be held via “video conference” during the state of emergency was approved. It should be noted that the sessions will be limited to extension sessions for the purpose of iinterrogationor presenting indictment lists, or in cases of issuing administrative detention orders. All ongoing trial proceedings have been postponed.

Additionally, an order for the detention of “Unlawful combatants” (temporary order) was issued on October 8, 2023. This order stipulates the detention of Gaza detainees in the “Sdeh Teiman” camp, a military camp located near BeerAlSabe’, and it designated Palestinian detainees from Gaza as “Unlawful combatants” based on the Israeli Unlawful Combatants Law issued in 2002. This order is effective for 10 weeks from its date. On October 13, an amendment was issued to the Unlawful Combatants Law, titled “Emergency Regulations (Final Deadlines for Dealing with Unlawful Combatants during War or Military Operations for the Year 2023.” It included the following:

  • Expanding the scope of those authorized to issue arrest orders to include brigadier generals and those of lower rank.
  • Brigadier generals are given 21 days to issue an arrest order instead of 7 days.
  • The legal review period for the arrest decision is extended from 14 days to 30 days.
  • The lawyer’s visit will be within 21 days before the legal review instead of 7 days.
  • The prohibition of meeting the lawyer by the official responsible for issuing the arrest order becomes 28 days from the date of arrest instead of 10 days.
  • Judges can extend the prohibition of meeting the lawyer for 45 days instead of 21 days.

In addition, a temporary military order (No. 2148) was issued regarding the extension of administrative detention periods as follows:

  • Amendment of Article 39 of Order 1651 to be 6 days (144 hours) instead of 72 hours.
  • Amendment of Article 41 (b) concerning the postponement of the release decision until an administrative detention order is issued to be 6 days (144 hours) instead of 72 hours.
  • Amendment of Article 287 (a) regarding the date of the judicial review to be 12 days (288 hours) instead of 8 days.

Note: These procedures will apply to administrative detainees who were arrested before October 7th, and whose detention orders expire during the effective period of this amendment.

Furthermore, amendments were made to the Anti-Terrorism Law, expanding it to include not only participation in writing publications, likes, and shares, but also ifinvolved in monitoring news posted on social media platforms related to a “terrorist organization.”

The Knesset also approved amendments to the Prison Service orders to allow prisoners to sleep on mattresses on the floor in cases of overcrowding.

Collective punitive measures aim to impose further oppression and control on Palestinians

The crimes committed by the occupation authorities against Palestinian detainees and prisoners are part of the systematic collective punishments imposed on the Palestinian people. These punishments aim to enforce further isolation on detainees and prisoners. In the absence of the International Committee of the Red Cross fulfilling its responsibilities towards detainees and prisoners, and knowing their places and conditions of detention, the crimes escalate under the state of isolation imposed on the detainees. The latest of which was the death of administrative detainee Omar Draghmeh under circumstances that are still unclear due to the inability of Palestinian prisoner organizations to communicate with the prisons.

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Worker among Stripped Detainees

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

Israel’s Insidious Narrative About Palestinian Prisoners

AL BIREH, WEST BANK - NOVEMBER 26: 39 Palestinians, brought by International Committee of the Red Cross vehicle, reunite with their relatives as they are released from Israeli Ofer prison as a part of Israel and Palestinian resistance group Hamas prisoner swap amid Humanitarian pause, according to Palestine Liberation Organization's prisoners in Al Bireh city of Ramallah, West Bank on November 26, 2023. Israeli authorities released 39 Palestinians, including 6 females, 33 minors as part of second batch of prisoner swap according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA. (Photo by Issam Rimawi/Anadolu via Getty Images)Palestinians reunite with their relatives as they are released from Israel’s Ofer prison as a part of a prisoner swap, in Al Bireh, West Bank, on Nov. 26, 2023. (Photo: Issam Rimawi/Anadolu via Getty Images)

THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT narrative surrounding the Palestinian prisoners being released during this temporary ceasefire is both insidious and dishonest. Interior Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has banned Palestinians from celebrating their release. “My instructions are clear: there are to be no expressions of joy,” he said. “Expressions of joy are equivalent to backing terrorism, victory celebrations give backing to those human scum, for those Nazis.” He told Israeli police to deploy an “iron fist” to enforce his edict.

The Netanyahu government and its supporters have promoted a narrative that these prisoners are all hardened terrorists who committed violent crimes. This assertion relies on a farcical “Alice in Wonderland”-inspired logic of convicting them by fiat in public before any trial, even the sham trials to which Palestinians are routinely subjected. Israel released a list of the names with alleged crimes they committed. And who is making these allegations? A military that acts as a brutal occupation force against Palestinians in the West Bank.

The vast majority of the 300 Palestinian prisoners proposed for release by Israel are teenage boys. According to the list, 124 of the prisoners are under the age of 18, including a 15-year-old girl, and many of the 146 who are 18 years old turned so in Israeli prisons. According to the definitions laid out in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, these Palestinians were children when they were arrested by Israel. 

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Of the 300 names Israel proposed for potential release, 233 of them have not been convicted of any crimes; they are categorized simply as “under arrest.” Police and prosecutors all over the world make allegations later proven false during a fair trial. The Israeli narrative promotes the fiction that these Palestinians are in the middle of some sort of fair judicial proceeding in which they will eventually be tried in a fair and impartial process. This is a complete, verifiable farce. Palestinians are not prosecuted in civil courts; they are tried in military courts. They often are denied access to lawyers and to purported evidence against them, and are regularly held in isolation for extreme periods and subjected to other forms of abuse. Israel is the only “developed” country in the world that routinely tries children in military courts, and its system has been repeatedly criticized and denounced by major international human rights organizations and institutions.

Palestinians are not prosecuted in civil courts; they are tried in military courts.

If, as Israel alleges, these people have committed violent crimes, particularly against civilians, then Israel should give them full rights to due process, to see the alleged evidence against them, and they should be tried in civilian courts with the same rights afforded Israeli defendants. That would also mean allowing Palestinians who do commit acts of political violence, particularly against the military forces of a violent occupation, to raise the context and legality of the Israeli occupation as part of their defense. Israel is asking the world to believe that these 300 people are all dangerous terrorists, yet it has built a kangaroo military court system for Palestinians that magically churns out a nearly 100 percent conviction rate. All of this from a country that constantly promotes itself as the only democracy in the Middle East.

Palestinians on this list are from the occupied West Bank and have lived their entire lives under an apartheid regime. Palestinians taken by Israel, including some on the list of prisoners proposed for release, have certainly committed violent acts. But to pretend that the context of this violence is irrelevant is as absurd as it is unjust, given the appalling conditions Palestinians have lived under for decades. Contrast this to the widespread impunity that governs the actions of violent Israeli settlers who mercilessly target Palestinians in an effort to expel them from their homes.

All nations should be judged by how they treat the least powerful, not the most powerful or only those from a certain religion or ethnicity. This is why many leading civil liberties lawyers in the U.S. opposed the use of Guantánamo Bay prison and military tribunals and continue to oppose U.S. laws or rules that deny the accused a fundamental right to a proper defense.

How Israel keeps hundreds of Palestinians in detention without charge

The Ofer military prison in the West Bank. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

A four-day pause in hostilities between Israel and the militant group Hamas was extended by two more days, instead of expiring Tuesday morning, lengthening the brief reprieve offered to Gaza’s 2.1 million Palestinians, who have endured weeks of relentless Israeli bombardments. The move also gave further hope to the families of Israeli hostages abducted by Hamas during its Oct. 7 strike on southern Israel.

Through Qatari and Egyptian mediators, the two sides had agreed on an initial release of 50 hostages in Gaza and about 150 Palestinians, mostly teenagers and some women, imprisoned by Israel, over the four-day period. Sixty-nine hostages — the majority Israeli but also Thai, Philippine, French, Argentine and Russian citizens and others — and more than 100 Palestinians were released over the first four days. The extension raises the possibility of more captive exchanges and more moments of joy for their friends and loved ones.

But for freed Palestinians, the context in which they return is more barbed and fraught. In lists distributed to media, Israeli authorities labelall the prisoners up for release as “terrorists.” Some were convicted of crimes such as attempted murder; others were detained for activities like “throwing stones” or carrying knives. And a few, like 59-year-old Hanan Barghouti, the eldest female prisoner to be released, were in indefinite Israeli custody without any charge.

While there were scenes of jubilation in Ramallah in the West Bank as a group of released prisoners met their families over the weekend, Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel’s far-right national security minister, issued directives cracking down on such celebrations in East Jerusalem, where the Israeli police can directly operate. “My instructions are clear: there are to be no expressions of joy,” he said. “Expressions of joy are equivalent to backing terrorism, victory celebrations give backing to those human scum, for those Nazis.”

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Meanwhile, in the West Bank, most of which is under Israel’s military administration, Israeli authorities have detained roughly as many Palestinians as have been released in the past few days. A post-Oct. 7 crackdown saw the Palestinian population in Israeli custody almost double, by some measures: According to Palestinian rights groups, more than 3,000 Palestinians, mostly in the West Bank, were swept up by Israeli security forces. The majority appear to be held in administrative detention — that is, a form of incarceration without charge or trial that authorities can renew indefinitely.

Under international law, the practice of administrative detention is supposed to be used only in exceptional circumstances. But, as Israeli and international human rights groupsdocument, it has become more the norm in the West Bank. Even before Oct. 7, smoldering tensions and violence in the West Bank had led to a three-decade high in administrative detentions. Then, according to the Israeli human rights organization HaMoked, the total number of Palestinians in administrative detention went from 1,319 on Oct. 1 to 2,070 on Nov. 1 — close to a third of the total Palestinian prisoner population.

Israel’s critics contend that even those charged with specific crimes face a skewed, unfair justice system. Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to Israeli military courts, unlike the half-million Jewish settlers who live in their midst. These courts have in some years churned out convictions at a 99 percent rate, a state of affairs that raises questions about the due process afforded to Palestinians.

“Palestinians are routinely denied counsel, for example, and faced with language barriers and mistranslations that taint testimonies and confessions used in court,” explained Vox’s Abdallah Fayyad. “But it’s not only a lack of due process that plagues this legal system. Oftentimes, these cases are based on specious and far-reaching charges.”

The dynamics of the Israeli carceral system for Palestinians have long undergirded anger over the broader nature of Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories. “The power to incarcerate people who have not been convicted or even charged with anything for lengthy periods of time, based on secret ‘evidence’ that they cannot challenge, is an extreme power,” noted Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. “Israel uses it continuously and extensively, routinely holding hundreds of Palestinians at any given moment.”

The deepening crisis that followed Hamas’s bloody rampage on Oct. 7 has only exacerbated tensions. “Administrative detention is one of the key tools through which Israel has enforced its system of apartheid against Palestinians,” Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement this month, citing numerous reports of abuses suffered by Palestinian detainees in recent weeks. “Testimonies and video evidence also point to numerous incidents of torture and other ill-treatment by Israeli forces including severe beatings and deliberate humiliation of Palestinians who are detained in dire conditions.”

Israeli authorities have argued over the years that their practice of administrative detention is in line with policies in other democracies and constitutes a necessary preventive measure, given the security conditions that shape the West Bank. The feeble Palestinian Authority, which has long worked hand-in-glove with Israeli security agencies, has struggled to tamp down rising anger and militancy among Palestinians in the West Bank. In recent weeks, Israeli government officials have lashed out at censure from U.N. officials and organizations like Amnesty International, which an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson describedas “antisemitic” and “biased.”

But Israel’s widespread use of the practice has been long criticized by international observers. A 2012 European parliamentary report described administrative detention as a tactic employed “principally to constrain Palestinian political activism.” In 2020, Michael Lynk, then the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, called on Israel to abolish the practice.

“Administrative detention is an anathema in any democratic society that follows the rule of law,” Lynk said. “When the democratic state arrests and detains someone, it is required to charge the person, present its evidence in an open trial, allow for a full defense and try to persuade an impartial judiciary of its allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Ishaan Tharoor is a foreign affairs columnist at The Washington Post, where he authors the Today’s WorldView newsletter and column. In 2021, he won the Arthur Ross Media Award in Commentary from the American Academy of Diplomacy. He previously was a senior editor and correspondent at Time magazine, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York. Twitter

December 5, 2023
Webinar on Palestinian Political Prisoners

11 am CT

Join Eyewitness Palestine to learn about who Palestinian political prisoners are and the unjust Israeli system that detains them. While airstrikes in Gaza were paused, hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank have been arrested and detained by the IOF, bringing the total number of Palestinians detained up to a remarkable 7,000, including children. Many of these Palestinians are held without trial or charge under a practice of Israeli military law called administrative detention.

Hear from Addameer Palestinian attorney Tala Nasir, Palestinian Activist and Life Coach Arab Barghouti, son of political prisoner Marwan Barghouti; and other family members of Palestinians who remain unjustly detained.

Free and open to the public; optional donations accepted.

 

Khader Adnan’s Death

A Wake-Up Call for the World’s Conscience



May 2, 2023

This morning, Palestinian leader Khader Adnan died in an Israeli dungeon after 86 days of hunger strike, protesting his unjust detention by the Israeli government without charge or trial. He left behind a wife and nine children. A medic from Physicians for Human Rights Israel had warned Israeli authorities that Adnan was facing “imminent death,” but that did not dissuade the Israeli government from keeping him in shackles and denying his freedom.

Adnan is a renowned symbol of the Palestinian prisoners’ struggle for freedom, having been arrested 12 times and spending nearly eight years in Israeli prisons, mostly in “administrative detention,” an obscene Israeli practice of holding Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial. Currently, more than 1000 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons under this practice.

Israel’s regime of mass arrests and imprisonment of Palestinians is a systematic effort to entrench its illegal occupation and apartheid over Palestinian life. This regime doesn’t even spare children, who are systematically abused and brutalized in Israeli military detention. Israel is the only country that processes children through a military court system, where thousands of Palestinian children have experienced this abuse. Some, like Adnan, would rather find freedom in death than be imprisoned in life by the shackles of Israel’s brutal occupation.

Adnan has died, but his life of resistance will not be forgotten. His death should serve as a wake-up call for those that remain silent as  Israel destroys Palestinian lives and continues denying them freedom as they have for decades, not just in the dungeons of indefinite detention but in the far bigger prison of military occupation and apartheid. On April 25th, President Biden said in a statement celebrating 75 years of the apartheid state, “As a life-long friend and supporter of the State of Israel, I have worked my entire career to deepen and strengthen our partnership.” This partnership has done nothing but enable a full-fledged ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinian people. It is well past time for the world, and the U.S. government in particular as the biggest supporter of Israel’s apartheid government, to raise its voice and demand an end to Israel’s ongoing crimes against Palestinians via viable action and accountability.

We at AMP will continue to fight for a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward Palestine and Israel. We do so in solidarity with all the Palestinian prisoners held in the occupation’s prisons, and we will continue this fight until every last Palestinian is free.

February 14, 2023
Webinar by No Way to Treat a Child

Please join the No Way to Treat a Child campaign for a webinar next week on February 14 at 11 a.m. Central.

We’ll hear how Palestinian children have been impacted by the reign of Israeli aggression across the occupied West Bank this year. Israeli forces have carried out incursions into Palestinian cities and towns almost every night, and eight Palestinian boys have been killed already this year. Join to hear from DCIP staff in Ramallah and learn about our child protection and empowerment work training Palestinian children to know their rights in the face of systematic Israeli military and settler violence.

Sign up for the webinar »

We’ll also share actions you can work on while we await a new Palestinian rights bill in the U.S. Congress. This is a great time to plan your advocacy strategy and learn how you can center the experiences of Palestinian children.

The webinar will be held on Zoom and instructions for joining will be shared with each person who registers. This event will be recorded, so please register even if you cannot attend live and we will send you the recording afterwards.

In solidarity,

Miranda Cleland

Miranda Cleland
Advocacy Officer
Defense for Children International – Palestine

No Way to Treat a Child

Israel has deported Palestinian lawyer to France

Move constitutes a war crime

, 2022-12-18

Ramallah, 18 December 2022

Today, Sunday, 18 December, the Israeli settler-colonial authorities are unlawfully deporting French-Palestinian lawyer and human rights defender Salah Hammouri from his hometown, Jerusalem, to France for “breach of allegiance” to the occupying state. Such a move constitutes a war crime under international humanitarian law of forcible deportation of a civilian from occupied territories. It stands as a horrifying escalation in Israel’s systematic practices of ethnically cleansing Palestinians from illegally annexed and occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds).

Despite decades of harassment, Salah has never surrendered his dignity and his basic demand to remain in his beloved hometown. His tenacity and love for al-Quds represents the unwavering Palestinian connection to the city in the face decades of the most brutal policies against its residents.

In his own words from Hadarim prison, Salah Hammouri emphasized that “Wherever a Palestinian goes, he takes with him these principles and the cause of his people: his homeland carried with him to wherever he ends up.” Despite the heartbreak of exile that Israel is imposing on Salah, it has lost morally, and has only reinforced his attachment to his homeland and strengthened the will and determination of millions of others to remain. 

Salah’s forcible deportation is only the latest stage in Israel’s long standing judicial and administrative harassment of him, his family and his crucial human rights work advocating for Palestinian political prisoners. He has been made a prime target of Israel’s policies of intimidation and silencing of those who challenge its regime of institutionalized racial domination and oppression. This has included repeated arbitrary arrests and detention (often without charge or trial), physical violence, separation from his family (including the deportation of his wife a few years ago), spyware attacks and surveillance, and most recently, the stripping of his permanent residency rights in Jerusalem under “breach of allegiance.”

The decision is yet further evidence of the Apartheid nature of the Israeli regime. Salah has sought remedies at every level of the Israeli political and legal system but has been met only by racist policies that operate with the pretense of the rule of law but that exist in reality to maintain Israeli racial domination over Palestinians. Israel’s emboldened Apartheid regime is increasingly brazen in its racism and is now on the cusp of inaugurating the most fascistic government in its history.

Israel’s expulsion of him is a dangerous precedent for all Palestinians in Jerusalem. Hence, on 16 May 2022, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) submitted communications to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on behalf of Salah Hammouri, which details years of persecution and new tactics to forcibly transfer Palestinians from occupied Jerusalem in the context of the ongoing investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine.

This expulsion, and Israel’s wider apartheid policies, are possible due to the complicity of states and companies that provide the regime with political, economic and military support despite its ongoing breaches of international law. This is evident in France’s failure to use any of the leverage at its disposal in order to prevent the war crime of forced deportation and ongoing abuse of one of its own citizens. 

Salah will soon be reunited with his wife and children from whom he has been cruelly separated for some time.

Like the millions of other Palestinians now in exile, Salah will struggle for his right to return to his homeland.

For more information: https://justiceforsalah.net/

Salah has arrived in France

Photo Credit: Palestine Online

Press releases 

Continue to follow and share @JusticeforSalah and @LiberezSalah accounts for updates in English, Arabic and French

Expulsion of Palestinian tests the waters for future deportations

Legal experts fear Israel’s deportation of Salah Hammouri could set a precedent for similar moves against Palestinians holding foreign citizenship


Salah Hammouri’s mother (left), alongside Attorney Leah Tsemel (center) and Munir Nuseibeh (right), holds up a photo of him at an emergency press conference in Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

Oren Ziv, +972 Magazine, December 7, 2022

Israel announced last week that it has revoked the Jerusalem residency of Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hammouri and intends to deport him to France. Hammouri, who has been held in administrative detention without charge or trial since March, was informed that the appeals he filed to the District Court and Supreme Court in the past year have been rejected, leading outgoing Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to order his deportation.

The 36-year-old lawyer was born in Jerusalem to a French mother and a Palestinian father, and has French citizenship. He works at the prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, one of the six Palestinian civil society groups declared “terrorist organizations” by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz in October 2021), based on unsubstantiated allegations of ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) that failed to convince European governments. Hammouri is also one of six Palestinian human rights activists whose phones were hacked with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, according to an investigation by Amnesty International and Citizen Lab last year. 

In October 2021, Shaked ordered to revoke Hammouri’s Jerusalem residency on the grounds of “breach of allegiance” to the state, on the basis of confidential material supposedly proving that he is a PFLP activist. His lawyers denied the charges. About five months ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a renewed status revocation process needed to be conducted in his case, which was completed at the end of November. Meanwhile, Hammouri’s administrative detention ended on Sunday, and he has been transferred to the custody of the Immigration Authority. (Update: On December 7, Hammouri’s legal team announced that the deportation has been successfully delayed until at least January 1, pending further legal challenges.)

‘Breach of allegiance’

When Israel annexed East Jerusalem after occupying the territory in 1967 — in a move not recognized by the international community — it gave the Palestinians living there “permanent residency” permits rather than full citizenship (Palestinian Jerusalemites can apply for citizenship, but face many economic and bureaucratic barriers in the process; the vast majority refuse to apply in opposition to the state’s illegal annexation). The state can revoke these permits for several reasons, including if someone moves their so-called “center of life” away from Jerusalem. Around 15,000 Palestinians have had their Jerusalem residency revoked since 1967.

Attorney Leah Tsemel speaks at an emergency press after Israel announced it would deport Salah Hammouri, Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

Attorney Leah Tsemel speaks at an emergency press after Israel announced it would deport Salah Hammouri, Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

The revocation of Hammouri’s residency was made possible by an amendment to the Entry into Israel Law in 2018, under then-Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, authorizing the minister to deprive permanent residents of their status for committing “an act that constitutes a breach of allegiance to the State of Israel.” Shaked, who ordered Hammouri’s revocation, did not specify which actions constituted a “breach of allegiance,” nor did she reveal evidence on which the allegation was based. It should be noted that international law prohibits an occupying power from forcing the subjects under occupation to swear allegiance to it.

The state claims that it has new information about Hammouri regarding “terrorist activity,” His lawyers, however, believe that he is mainly being deported because of his past conviction for involvement in a plan to murder Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the longtime spiritual leader of the Sephardic Orthodox party Shas, during the Second Intifada. In 2005, Hammouri was sentenced to seven years in prison after accepting a plea bargain, before being released in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal with Hamas in Gaza. 

Since then, Hammouri has repeatedly been placed under administrative detention, including for 13 consecutive months during 2017-2018. Because of the residency revocation last year, Hammouri’s latest administrative detention procedure was conducted according to military law, as is customary for Palestinians who live in the occupied West Bank without Israeli residency status. In 2016, Israel prevented Hammouri’s wife, a French citizen, and his children from entering the country, and deported them back to France from Ben Gurion Airport; the family has been geographically divided ever since.

Interior Minister Shaked claimed in a statement that “from a young age Hammouri promoted terrorist acts and took advantage of being a resident of Israel for these acts,” including “conspiracy to carry out an attack on Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.” Attorney Danny Shenhar from the NGO HaMoked, who represents Hammouri together with Attorney Leah Tsemel, told +972 that Israel’s attempt to deport him is “a double punishment and retroactive application of the law.”

“This is the first case I know of where a resident of East Jerusalem faces forced deportation to another country,” said Shenhar. “As a member of the indigenous population of Jerusalem, Hammouri owes no allegiance to the State of Israel,” he added. “The fact that this decision was made largely on the basis of secret evidence only exacerbates the injustice.”

A critical case

Last Friday, an emergency press conference was held in East Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent his deportation, attended by his parents, Attorney Tsemel, and Munir Nuseibeh, an expert in international law from Al-Quds University, who emphasized at the event that Hammouri’s deportation would constitute a war crime. The fear, according to the speakers, is that the attempt to deport Hammouri will be used by Israel as a test case to later deport more Palestinians who hold additional citizenships on grounds of “disloyalty.”

The father of Salah Hammouri holds a photo of him at an emergency press conference in Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

The father of Salah Hammouri holds a photo of him at an emergency press conference in Jerusalem, December 2, 2022. (Oren Ziv)

“Hammouri’s case is important because it is critical for the future of [Palestinian] Jerusalemites,” said Attorney Tsemel. “Soon it will be 30 years since the great deportation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to Lebanon [415 Palestinians in the occupied territories were expelled in December 1992]. This was the last mass deportation. Salah’s case affects all Jerusalemites, who are not citizens, who did not ask for status from Israel but received it, and the interior minister and justice ministry claim that they have to show absolute loyalty to the state.”

Salah’s mother, Denise Hammouri Guidoux, said during the conference: “We were waiting for his release [from detention] at the end of the week, but we heard that he would be deported — it was a shock. We knew about this possibility, but we didn’t think it’s possible to send someone from his homeland. He is French with citizenship, but he is more Palestinian. He was born in Jerusalem, lived here, studied here, [and] has roots here.”

Since the announcement that Israel intends to deport him, several human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty, have called on the French government and President Macron to prevent the move. A campaign against his deportation has also gained momentum online under the hashtag #JusticeforSalah. The UN Special Rapporteurs on the occupied territories and on counter-terrorism have also called on France and the international community to take concrete actions to stop the expulsion.

In response to +972’s question at the press conference, Attorney Tsemel said that she cannot predict how Hammouri will react when they try to put him on a flight, but noted that international law forbids transferring a person to another country against their will. “I hope we don’t get there,” she added.

The French Foreign Ministry stated: “France is following Salah Hammouri’s situation very closely and at the highest level… [he] must be able to have a normal life in Jerusalem, where he was born and where he lives, and his wife and children must be able to travel there to find him.”

The New Ecological and Social People’s Union (NUPES), an alliance of left-wing parties in the French parliament, said in a statement: “France cannot allow the most basic rights of one of our compatriots to be violated… It is high time that France raises its tone against Israel; its credibility depends on it.”

No Government Has the Right to Pass Such Laws

Dr. James J. Zogby, Arab American Institute, October 17, 2022

During the past month Israel has held 800 Palestinians under administrative detention orders, expelled several Palestinians from East Jerusalem, seized more Arab-owned land from areas around Hebron and in the Jordan Valley turning much of it over to settlers, and instituted a lockdown of many Palestinian areas during Jewish religious days. All of this passed without notice in the US press because Israel policies, such as these, have long been routine features of the 55 year-long occupation.

What’s important to note, however, is that all of these practices are in violation of international law, and all have a disturbing history in Israel/Palestine.

Many of them were initially put in place by the British as part of their effort to squash the Great Palestinian Revolt of 1936-1939. Back then, as Palestinian rebels at the peak of their uprising had gained control of significant areas of the country, the British put in place what they termed the “Emergency Military Administration in Palestine.” Under the provisions of this new regime, thousands of Palestinian rebels were arrested and detained without charges, hundreds were expelled, villages were subjected to collective punishment, and Palestinian properties were confiscated and/or destroyed—all in an effort to end the Revolt.

While these repressive measures did play a role, what finally ended the Revolt was a combination of false promises by the British that they would consider Palestinian demands for independence and the naïveté of some Arab leaders who accepted these British pledges and, therefore, urged the Palestinian fighters to disarm.

After World War II, when faced with a new threat from a Zionist armed insurgency, Britain reinstated the Emergency Administration — this time directed against the Jewish militias. In response, Jewish leaders rose up in outrage. One noted attorney, Ya’acov Shimshon Shapiro (who later served as Israel’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice) criticized these British laws as “unparalleled in any civilized country.”

There were, he said, “no such laws even in Nazi Germany. . . There is only one form of government which resembles the system in force here now — the case of an occupied country. . . It is our duty to tell the whole world that the Defense Laws passed by the British Mandatory Government of Palestine destroy the very foundation of justice in this land.”

He concluded by noting that “no government has the right to pass such laws.” Given this outrage and condemnation, it might be seen as ironic that immediately upon assuming state power in 1948, the State of Israel would adopt these very same laws, applying them to the Palestinian population that remained after the Nakbah & mdash; without any protest from Jewish jurists.

From 1948 until 1965 the Emergency Defense Laws (EDL) & mdash; as they were now called & mdash; were in place in order to control the captive Palestinian community in Israel. Collectively, these laws functioned to: establish a military administration over the Arab sector, give the state the power to institute collective punishment, intern Palestinian citizens of Israel without judicial process, expel Palestinian citizens without recourse, confiscate Arab-owned land, and impose curfews and lockdowns over entire regions.

While the EDL were formally lifted in 1965, they were resurrected and rehabilitated in 1967 & mdash; this time to be applied, even more harshly, to the areas of Palestine that had been occupied in the 1967 war. Collective punishment of entire villages was widespread, as was the use of administrative detention. No political parties or expressions of Palestinian national identity were allowed. Well over 1,200 Palestinian leaders & mdash; mayors, college presidents, labor leaders, and clergy & mdash; were expelled. Substantial areas of Arab-owned land were confiscated, placed under Israeli control and declared either “green spaces” or “security zones” & mdash; off limits to Palestinians, later given over to Israeli settlement construction. And since any Palestinian construction required Israeli permission, which was rarely forthcoming, homes and community buildings were routinely demolished.

Even after the Oslo Accords, which Palestinians hoped would lead to an independent state, provisions of the EDL remained in place as accepted legal practice by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Given that these Israeli “laws” have been in place for more than seven decades, it might not be surprising that Western media and political leaders have become inured to these Israeli repressive measures. This, however, only adds insult to injury.

Palestinians are not “children of a lesser god.” They are human beings, deserving of the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions. Israel’s “security concerns” (like those of the British in the 1930s and 1940s) do not excuse their wholesale trashing of international law and conventions. And they do not absolve the silence of the West in the face of this total disregard for Palestinian rights. To repeat the quote from Israel’s first Attorney General, these laws “destroy the very foundation of justice in this land. . . no government has the right to pass such laws.”


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Arab American Institute. The Arab American Institute is a non-profit, nonpartisan national leadership organization that does not endorse candidates.

Note: To discuss this column with me, please register here for my next ‘Coffee And A Column’ event Wednesday via Zoom.

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October 14-23 Global Week of Action

Palestinian Youth Movement, Oct 11, 2022

We, the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), call upon all supporters of the Palestinian struggle to join us on October 14th – 23rd for a week of action in support of Palestinian political prisoners and their fight for freedom and dignity.

On September 25th, 30 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli military prisons began an indefinite hunger strike calling for an end to their “administrative detention.”

Administrative detention is a systematic policy of arbitrary imprisonment whereby the Zionist state detains Palestinians and incarcerates them, without charge or trial, for an indefinite period.

The policy is one of the many colonial tactics used by the occupation to routinely target, harass, intimidate, and silence Palestinian youth and organizers who become a symbol of hope for their people.

Read our full statement on our website to learn more about the strike and how you can get involved. We look forward to your participation!

Victory for Khalil

182-day Palestinian hunger striker to be released

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madison4pali on Instagram

Yesterday, we planned to hold a demonstration to #FreeKhalil, the 182-day Palestinian hunger-striker protesting his evidence-free incarceration — but then we learned that Khalil suspended his hunger strike in exchange for an October 2 release, so we canceled our demonstration and instead a handful of us went to the Capitol and covered the State Street entrance with pro-Palestine, pro-resistance, and messages of victory 🇵🇸❤️‍🔥

Khalil Awawdeh Announces End to Hunger Strike

The Palestinian hunger striker, whose images shocked the world amid his more than 170-day strike, has ended his strike after striking a deal to be released


Palestinian administrative prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on a hunger strike for more than 170 days with a two week pause, is seen at Assaf Harofeh hospital in Be’er Ya’akov, Israel, last week. Credit: Sinan Abu Mayzer/Reuters

Hagar Shezaf, Haaretz, Aug 31, 2022

Khalil Awawdeh, whose lawyers have warned he could die at any moment over 170 days into his hunger strike, announced that he is ending his strike after an agreement was reached to end his administrative detention on October 2nd.

In a video, Awawdeh said he will stay in the hospital for treatment and supervision until he recovers.

“This is another victory in the series of wins for administrative detainees who led a struggle for their release and freedom. I am ending the strike after I received word of my victory.”

Awawdeh’s wife celebrated the news of her husband’s release. “Khalil proved that the Palestinian prisoner can achieve victory over the occupation.”

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad said the “historic campaign he led will be recorded in the annals of Palestinian struggle.”

A senior Egyptian source told Haaretz that Egyptian officials were part of backdoor talks with Israel to secure Awawdeh’s release, which was apparently a condition promised as part of the recent ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip. The source added that talks to secure senior Islamic Jihad commander Bassam al-Saadi’s release are still under way.

Back by an Egyptian guarantee, Awawdeh signed that he will not return to “terrorist activities” as a condition of his October 2 release, an Israeli security source said, adding that Israel will release him as long as there is no reason to believe otherwise.

Weighing under 90 pounds, Awawdeh’s photos shocked the world and led world leaders to urge Israel to either release him or charge him in court. On Tuesday, Israel’s High Court rejected a petition demanding his release and an end to his administrative detention, a practice employed by Israel to hold political prisoners indefinitely without trial.

Dr. Bettina Birmans, a neurologist who volunteers at Physicians for Human Rights visited Awawdeh last Friday. In her opinion, which was submitted with the petition for his release, Birmans said that compared to summaries of previous tests Awawdeh has undergone, there has been a deterioration in his condition – he can barely move his limbs, is unable to complete sentences, suffers from weakness and pain throughout his body, and is experiencing deterioration of his eyesight, memory, and cognitive function.

Israel has provided few details about the accusations facing Awawdeh. An Israeli military spokesperson said last week his detention had been confirmed several times by military courts “and it was determined that the confidential material in his case indicates that his release will threaten the security of the area.”

Awawdeh was recently transferred from Ramle Prison to the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Israel due to his failing health.

Earlier this month, the Israeli military temporarily suspended the administrative detention order against Awawdeh because his condition was deteriorating. However, Israel’s High Court rejected an appeal to release him — the judges wrote that the court has no room to intervene in the decision to keep Awawdeh under arrest despite his condition.