Wednesday, 21 October 2009

CNN exposes Israel's widespread use of detention without trial in Palestine

Taking a leaf out of British imperialism's playbook from its days as Palestinian overlord, Israel has become addicted to using 'administrative detention' - that's to say detention without trial. CNN highlights the appalling case of schoolgirl Salwa Salah who still to this day does not know why she was arrested and imprisoned. We know all about the oppressive conditions under Israel's occupation and the thousands of prisoners it illegally holds, but it's still encouraging to see CNN reporting on the situation for a change.
(CNN) -- Salwa Salah was 16 years old when she was arrested by Israeli forces and jailed for seven months.
Israeli court minutes said Salwa Salah, 16, had been involved in "planning military operations."

Israeli court minutes said Salwa Salah, 16, had been involved in "planning military operations."

To this day she says she does not know her crime and is struggling to get her life back on track.

She was released shortly before her final school exams but was unable to catch up and now has to re-sit before she can go to university.

Salah was held under administrative detention - detention without charge or trial. It is legal under international law which permits its use only in exceptional cases to protect the security of a state.

But human rights groups say Israel abuses this right.

A report released Wednesday by human rights groups B'Tselem and HaMoked has called on Israel to release the detainees or charge them. They say there are currently 335 Palestinians being held under administrative detention, three of them women, one a minor.

When asked about Salah's case, Israeli prosecutors gave CNN the court minutes which read, "It has been shown that the prisoner was involved in planning military operations very close to the time that she was detained."

Salah insists she is a schoolgirl and not a terrorist but no further information was given to her lawyer. Much of the evidence in these cases remains secret.

There is a CNN video about Salah's case here

Amnesty report accuses Israel of wanton destruction in Gaza

Amnesty hits the mark again, this time with a new report on Israel's assault on the people of Gaza, accusing the settler state of "breaching laws of war". Unfortunately, as in the case of the UN Human Rights Council report, this one too makes the mistake of attacking the oppressed for defending themselves by "whatever means necessary", as Malcolm X would have put it.
Amnesty International said on Thursday Israel inflicted "wanton destruction" in the Gaza Strip in attacks that often targeted Palestinian civilians during an offensive in December and January in the Hamas-run enclave.

The London-based rights group, in a 117-page report on the 22 days of fighting, also criticized the Islamist movement Hamas for rocket attacks on Israel, which it called "war crimes."...

...Accusing Israel of "breaching laws of war," Amnesty said: "Much of the destruction was wanton and deliberate, and was carried out in a manner and circumstances which indicated that it could not be justified on grounds of military necessity."