The High Follow up Committee for Arabs in Israel called on Wednesday for an end to the government’s detention campaign which, it is claimed, is intended to silence them. The committee also demanded the cancellation of indictments against all activists who took part in legitimate political actions, Rai Al-Youm has reported.
The chairman of the Committee, Mohamad Baraka, told journalists that the Israeli authorities are defaming Palestinian activism with the support of a compliant media. The authorities, he insisted, have no respect for even basic human rights or equality for all citizens.
“We have the right to demonstrate, stage protests and express our anger over what is happening,” added Mudar Younes, the head of the Committee of Local Arab municipalities. “This is a natural and legitimate right.”
According to Hassan Jabareen, the director of the Legal Centre for the Arab Minority in Israel (Adalah), Israel’s campaign against its Palestinian citizens is “racist and illegal”. He noted that it aims to scare and deter the community from political activism.
Jabareen wondered aloud about the role of the internal security agency, Shin Bet, in the campaign, given that most of the charges relate to civil issues. “The campaign has no legal basis. The detentions are part of Israel’s undermining of the right to free expression and to hold demonstrations.”