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New powers for Israel’s security minister will harm Arab citizens

Image of Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan
Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan [File photo]

The Israeli Parliament’s legal advisers have asked the Knesset to expand the authority of the Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The Israeli newspaper clarified that amendments to a new bill on the duties of the Minister of Internal Security would grant the minister the authority to impose administrative detention orders on Palestinian citizens as well as other powers “related to acts of pursuing terrorism”.

Haaretz said that the new powers would be used to test future restrictions that could be imposed on any “terrorism suspect” in Israel.

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The bill also includes imposing security and in-kind restrictions on “suspects”, such as defining their area of work as well as restricting their movements and means of transportation. It could prevent them from travelling to, entering or leaving a particular area or contacting others.

According to the text of the proposed law, the period of the order of administrative detention should not exceed six months and any restrictions imposed should not last more than one year. Though both may be extended and renewed by court order.


Current law allows administrative detention in Israel in “emergency situations” only. The law would be changed then to the imposition of administrative detention and security restrictions on Palestinian citizens as a “routine security measure.”

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