April 15, 2017 at 10:32 am
The Israeli occupation authorities have approved at least 13 “unprecedented, arbitrary” laws targeting Palestinian prisoners since 2015, the head of the PLO’s Prisoners’ and Freed Prisoners’ Committee said on Friday. The hunger strike set to mark Palestinian Prisoner Day on 17 April and is part of the response to these laws. Isa Qaraqe’s reactions to these laws below:
racist and revengeful laws approved by the Israeli Knesset against Palestinian prisoners.
The 13 bills passed into law, he explained, were among 120 proposed to the Knesset, 30 of which were actually discussed.
Qaraqe pointed out that the laws include those which allow the forced feeding of hunger strikers; 20-year prison sentences for minors who throw stones; courts to sentence minors below the age of 14; strip searches; giving the intelligence services the option to document or not document investigations; the execution of prisoners; the indictment of Palestinians without due cause; and depriving prisoners of education.
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources said that Israeli prison officers attacked prisoners in one detention facility after the Friday prayer yesterday. The authorities apparently placed the Imam leading the prayer in solitary confinement after accusing him of incitement for encouraging the prisoners to take part in the 17 April strike.
Rights groups estimate the number of Palestinian prisoners being held in 22 Israeli jails at 6,500, including 48 women, 14 girls and 300 boys. Of these, 300 are being held under administrative detention with neither charge nor trial.
The system allows the Israelis to imprison Palestinians without telling them or their lawyers the reason why they are being detained; such orders can be renewed indefinitely.
A new report has revealed that extremism in Israel has escalated to include senior political circles and laws as well as government decisions. Collectively, they are intended to target the presence of the Palestinian people in their own land.
Issued by the Palestinian Centre for Israeli Studies (MADAR), the report examined the list of racist laws supporting illegal Israeli settlements passed by the Knesset (parliament) from 2006. It pointed out that during its 17th parliamentary session (2006-2009), the Knesset approved the final readings of six such pieces of legislation; during its 18th session between 2009 and 2013 the figure was eight; within two years from the start of the 19th session it passed 24 pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian laws. MADAR regards this escalation to be an indicator of more repressive laws in the pipeline.
According to the report, 136 laws are included on the Knesset agenda during the current 20th session. It noted that Israeli parliamentarians are competing to propose more laws in favour of the settlements, including 30 aimed at imposing Israeli sovereignty on the colonies, or on the occupied West Bank as a whole.
“During the Israeli parliament’s 2016-2017 winter session,” said the report, “repressive laws have increased against those who disagree with government policies and the coalition’s agenda. For example, there has been a law banning the Muslim call for prayer which was approved by the Knesset during a preliminary reading.”
620,000 settlers live in occupied West Bank
March 31, 2017 at 10:51 am
The Palestinian government said as many as 620,000 settlers live in 423 settlements and outposts built on land allocated for a future Palestinian state.
The settlers have engulfed 46 per cent of the total area of the West Bank, government documents said. “The essence of this Israeli policy is to deprive the Palestinian people of their right to access their land and to turn it into closed military zones, for settlement construction.”
It added that there has been an increase in the number of violations committed by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians and their land this year. With the approval of the “Regularisation Bill’ which gives the occupation authorities the right to retroactively legalise dozens of Israeli outposts – considered illegal under Israeli domestic law – built on private Palestinian land and confiscate thousands of dunams of Palestinian land. The illegal Separation Wall which Israel is building to separate the occupied West Bank from Israel has also not yet been completed and already it has isolated 10 per cent of the West Bank, government figures show.
The government demanded the international community force Israel to abide by UN Security Council Resolution 2334 passed on December 2016 and stressed that all Israeli settlement activities in the Palestinian territory are illegal under international law and constitute a major obstacle to peace.