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Israel ignores Jewish terrorism, with detention without trial for Palestinians only

June 18, 2024 at 4:45 pm

Israeli Forces patrol as Jewish settlers enter with Israeli security forces amidst raid in Hebron, West Bank on April 13, 2024. [Amer Shallodi – Anadolu Agency]

In a scathing editorial, Haaretz has criticised the Israeli government’s proposal to restrict the use of administrative detention to cases involving “terrorist activity against the state or its citizens”, describing it as yet another example of Israel’s discriminatory policy towards Palestinians. The proposal, devised by Simcha Rothman MK, was discussed by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation yesterday.

Haaretz minced no words in its condemnation of the proposal, stating that, “The result is very clear: Jewish terrorism in the West Bank will be immune to such measures.” The editorial went on to describe administrative detention as “a draconian tool that deprives persons of their liberty without even minimal due process on the basis of classified evidence and, in some cases, without the detainees knowing the allegations against them.”

In statistics published in February by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), the number of administrative detainees in Israeli prisons has risen to 3,484, which includes 40 children and 11 women.

READ: Administrative detention is inherited from the British, perfected by the US and abused by Israel

The newspaper argued that while there is no place for such an instrument in a democratic state, a “selective and racist restriction” of the kind proposed by Rothman does not address the issue. Instead, “[it] permits the continued use of administrative detention, with all its faults, against Arab citizens of the state, while prohibiting it entirely regarding settler terrorism in the West Bank.”

Attacks by Israeli settler, including burning the homes of Palestinians and killing civilians, have intensified in recent months. Their growing menace has forced a number of Western governments to impose sanctions on far-right Jewish settlers.

Haaretz warned that this proposal is the first step towards passing a legislative package that some coalition lawmakers are openly pushing, which would turn a blind eye to Jewish terror against Palestinians. The editorial emphasised that Jewish terrorism must be treated exactly like any other form of terrorism, and that “administrative detention should not be the tool used to address such problems, and it has no place in Israeli law.”

The newspaper urged the government to reject Rothman’s proposal, not just for public relations considerations, but because “Jewish terrorism in the territories is terrorism for all intents and purposes, and its perpetrators must not be given any concessions.”

This latest development comes amid growing international criticism of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians. In recent years, every major human rights group, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, has determined that Israel commits the crime of apartheid against Palestinians. The proposed legislation, which would further entrench discrimination against Palestinians, is likely to confirm such allegations.

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