Aletho News


Israel renews detention of two PFLP leaders, held for 1 year without charge

Ma’an – June 4, 2016

RAMALLAH – Israeli authorities decided to renew the administrative detention of two PFLP leaders for six additional months, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said on Saturday, a day after leading member of the PFLP Khalida Jarrar was released from Israeli custody.

The center said in a statement that Jamal Barham, 56, and Shahir Ali al-Rai, 47, have been in Israel’s Ktziot prison in the Negev since their detention on June 3, 2015.

The center said that the two are being held for their activity in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is designated by Israel as an “illegal terrorist organization.”

The majority of Palestinian political organizations are considered illegal by Israel, including those that make up the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and association with such parties is often used as grounds for imprisonment, according to prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

The Israeli military prosecution said Barham and al-Rai held high ranks in the PFLP and took part in “incitement” against Israel, according to the center.

Both of the PFLP leaders had previously spent time in Israeli custody for their political activism.

Al-Rai, from the northern occupied West Bank city of Qalqilya, has spent a total of 12 years in Israeli jails, mostly under administrative detention — the controversial Israeli policy of internment without trial or charge based on undisclosed evidence.

Prior to his detention last year, Barham was arrested only once before, in December 1984, and released in August 1987.

Following his release, he and his family were the target of repeated house raids, while Barham was also wanted throughout the 1990s until the beginning of the second Intifada, according to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

During his detention in June 2015, Israeli forces ransacked his house, destroyed his computer, and confiscated flash drives belonging to his children.

Barham, from the village of Ramin in the northern district of Qalqiliya, was the head of the Arab Studies Department in PLO. He also suffers from various medical issues including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a disc in his neck.

Due to the lack of evidence against Barham to support Israel’s accusation that his previous political activity presented a security threat, his detention “is considered a violation of his right of expression and political activity,” insisted Addameer in their profile of Barham.

“His detention is arbitrary and a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The decision to hold him under administrative detention confirms the occupation authorities’ arbitrary use of the administrative detention policy when sufficient information is not available to put any Palestinian on trial.”

Barham was among 50 other Palestinian administrative detainees that launched a boycott of Israel’s military courts in July 2015, in protest of the courts’ impartiality and “their utilization as a mere formality,” said Addameer.

The boycott served to emphasize the prisoners’ “continued detention based on secret information that neither the detainee nor his lawyer can review, and additionally to the fact that military courts are a tool to legitimize the occupation and arbitrary detention.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian lawmaker and leading member of the PFLP Khalida Jarrar was released from Israeli custody on Friday, after being held for 14 months in Israeli prison.

Detained on April 2, Jarrar was initially sentenced to six months of administrative detention, however international pressure later forced Israeli authorities to bring charges against her, all 12 of which focused on her political activism.

News of the Israeli military prosecution’s renewal of Barham’s and al-Ray’s administrative detention follows the announcement of prominent Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem last week that it was discontinuing its strategy of holding Israel accountable for its crimes against Palestinians through internal military mechanisms.

“B’Tselem has gradually come to the realization that the way in which the military law enforcement system functions precludes it from the very outset from achieving justice for the victims. Nonetheless, the very fact that the system exists serves to convey a semblance of law enforcement and justice,” the report stated.

June 4, 2016 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , ,

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