Repressive Israeli Administrative Detentions
by Stephen Lendman
Life threatening hunger strikes by Khader Adnan, Muhammad Allan and others reflect the longstanding struggle of persecuted Palestinians for justice – indefinitely detained solely for political reasons, no others despite Israeli claims otherwise.
Criminals deserve punishment – no one for their political views or right to express them. Israel uses administrative detentions as a repressive tool, enforcing occupation harshness.
Jews aren’t administratively detained (with rare exceptions short-term proving the rule), only Palestinians. They’re denied due process and judicial fairness, held indefinitely, at times longterm, and aren’t told why they’re imprisoned.
International law permits administrative detentions only in exceptional cases – as a last resort measure against impending danger, and only short-term, never indefinitely uncharged and untried.
Israel flagrantly violates core international law principles – enforcing a secretive process preventing a proper defense, denying counsel the right to examine alleged evidence.
Thousands of Palestinians have been victimized – denied the most basic rights of all defendants – enshrined in Israeli and international law, not for Palestinians under lawless militarized rule.
Three Israeli laws authorize administrative detentions:
- the Military Order Regarding Security Provisions (Articles 284 – 294) – one of numerous other MOs governing Occupied Palestine, denying oppressed people civil law protections.
- the Emergency Powers (Detentions) Law; and
- the 2002 Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law – similar to America’s “unlawful enemy combatants” designation – now called “unprivileged enemy belligerents” – what Francis Boyle once called:
a “quasi-category universe of legal nihilism where human beings can be disappeared, detained incommunicado, denied access to attorneys and regular courts, tried in kangaroo courts, executed, tortured, assassinated and subjected to numerous other manifestations of State Terrorism.”
Last April, UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani expressed concern about “the continued and increasing use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities against Palestinians.”
It’s a draconian Fourth Geneva violation – mandating occupying powers protect the lives and welfare of people they control.
“We call, once again, on Israel to end its practice of administrative detention and to either release without delay or to promptly charge all administrative detainees and prosecute them with all the judicial guarantees required by international human rights law and standards,” said Shamdasani.
On August 23, Maan News
said Muhammad Allan’s ordeal “sparked new calls for Israel to curb its use of administrative detentions” – ruthlessly enforcing occupation harshness.
B’Tselem’s Sarit Michaeli said “(o)ur research into the way Israel uses administrative detention vis-a-vis Palestinians concludes that Israel violates this very narrow allowance and uses it in a very wide, extensive way. This is unacceptable legally and morally.”
Israeli claims about national security needs are fabricated. Its practice is pure persecution – the evil policy of a rogue regime, brutalizing an entire population it controls under militarized occupation.
Repressive arbitrary detention flagrantly breaches international law. Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:
1. “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.”
“No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law.”
2. “Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.”
4. “Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.”
Short-term detention without charge or trial is permitted only “in times of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation.”
Israel flagrantly violates its obligation as an occupying power. Fourth Geneva’s Article 78 states:
“If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment.”
“Decisions regarding such assigned residence or internment shall be made according to a regular procedure to be prescribed by the Occupying Power in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention.”
“This procedure shall include the right of appeal (decided on) with the least possible delay. (If it’s upheld), it shall be subject to periodical review…”
Administrative detention never substitutes for customary criminal proceedings. Israeli military control over millions of Palestinians is arbitrary and repressive – systematically violating core international law.
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