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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘detention’

A Teenager Experiences Israeli ‘Administrative Detention’

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Shay and Reena Yared, residents of Yitzhar in the Shomron, spent last Shabbat in a tent in a park in Kfar Avraham, a religious neighborhood of Petach Tikvah, with five of their six children.

It’s not because they don’t have a home. Rather, it was in protest of the administrative detention meted out to their 15-year-old son, Elisha, who was ordered to stay away from his home and his neighborhood for six months. The only claim against him is vague and loosely defined: suspected “involvement with violent activities targeting Palestinians.”

(The Petach Tikvah neighborhood embraced the family, with residents bringing them food, leaving the nearest shul open for them so they could have running water and plumbing, and coming out to offer them emotional support.)

Administrative detention, a holdover from the time of the British Mandate, allows police and security forces to keep a person under arrest without the need to actually charge the individual with a specific crime. While this tactic was kept in place by successive Israeli governments to detain suspected terrorists, recently it has been used to hold people considered dangerously right wing such as Evyatar Slonim and Meir Ettinger, both finally released after protracted detention and, allegedly, even torture.

Honenu is an organization that provides counsel and defense for people like Elisha or for soldiers who are under investigation for killing terrorists. A Hebrew-language cartoon on the organization’s website shows a cemetery where two soldiers killed in Operation Protective Edge say to each other: “I’m so glad we were ordered not to return fire.” “Yeah, who has strength for all these legal proceedings?”

According to Honenu’s website, dozens of people are under administrative detention – which can mean house arrest, banishment from their place of residence, or jail. While they are all right wing and religious, none has actually been charged with any crime. Although Elisha was a member of the Hilltop Youth, there is no law against that.

The problem with administrative detention is that it circumvents the courts as well as the social welfare system. Elisha, having been labeled “dangerous,” was put in solitary confinement for three days – perhaps a preferable situation for a yeshiva bachur than sharing a cell with criminals, but traumatic and a violation of his human rights nonetheless.

Central Command Chief Roni Numa, who was also in charge of the eviction from Chomesh, ordered Elisha Yared out of his house and to the custody of his grandparents (both sets of whom live in Petach Tikvah) but his parents objected. How can the government decide where Elisha, a minor, should live? Especially since protocol demands that authorities periodically check on his whereabouts, which, as Elisha’s grandmother Shoshana can attest, sometimes includes pounding on the door at four in the morning like they would for a criminal, waking up neighbors and causing a disturbance.

“You don’t throw a child from one place to another like he was a thing,” says his mother, Reena. “A child is life.”

While Elisha has to report on his whereabouts every night, he has been moving from place to place without a home, without a yeshiva, without a framework. His family has left their home to wander with him, setting up a tent in various parks to help draw attention to their plight. A couple of policemen came by the park last Erev Shabbat but were called out on an emergency that apparently posed a greater threat than a family with little kids camped out in the park.

“My daughter says she doesn’t want Elisha to come home,” says Reena, “because the kids are having so much fun camping all over the place.” But this isn’t a vacation. It’s a nightmare. Draconian laws are being instituted against families and children whose views are not politically correct. The efforts of security forces, which could be better spent targeting terrorists, are focused on idealistic boys and depriving them not only of their loving homes and families but of basic safety and security.

The Ministry of Defense has ignored requests from the Organization for Child Welfare that Elisha be permitted to return home.

“The purpose of administrative detention is to keep people quiet,” says Elisha’s father, “to make them think it isn’t such a good idea to make so much noise.” So in response the Yareds are making as much noise as possible, appealing to Knesset members and making their protest as public as possible.

People can differ over issues such as construction of settlements or dealing with terrorism, but arresting young boys, depriving them of their judicial rights and distancing them from their homes and families, should not enter into the equation.

Editor’s Note: For more information about Honenu, visit www.honenu.org or e-mail honenu.org.il@gmail.com. The Ministry of Defense can be contacted via e-mail at dover@mod.gov.il/

Rosally Saltsman

Rabbi Kahane’s Grandson to Be Released into House Detention, Restrictions

Monday, May 30th, 2016

The good news is that Meir Ettinger, grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, is expected to be released on Wednesday, June 1, following 10 months of solitary confinement in administrative detention, meaning he never committed any crime, but former Defense Minsiter Meir Ya’alon was convinced he was going to commit bad things if only he were allowed to roam free. And so, in the same vein, although Ettinger will presumably be allowed to leave jail, he won’t be doing a lot of roaming, Hakol Hayehudi reported Monday.

An administrative decree signed by OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa bans Ettinger from Judea and Samaria for a period of one year. Another decree, signed by GOC Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, bans Ettinger from Jerusalem and from the community of Yad Binyamin.

In addition, Ettinger must obey a night curfew for the next four months, and he has been banned from contacting a list of 92 acquaintances.

Ettinger is the second rightwing activist banned from contacting a long list of his friends — another young man was served last Friday with a decree running 87 names he is forbidden to contact.

Stay tuned for a solidarity with Meir Ettinger event his friends are organizing, which suggests that they’d be contacting him via YouTube.

Jewish activists Meir Ettinger and Evyatar Slonim were placed in administrative detention—an old British Mandate “temporary” regulation which is being employed by Israeli courts to incarcerate security risks whose alleged crimes cannot be proven—last August. They were then transferred to the security wing of Eshel prison near Be’er Sheva in early October.

Ettinger’s uncle, Binyamin Kahane, was killed with his wife Talya in a shooting attack near the settlement of Ofra in December 2000.

During his stay in isolation, his attorney, Sima Kochav, wrote: “They keep [Palestinian] security prisoners in this wing, which means the IPS is violating its mandate and risking the life of a prisoner needlessly. Not only have they damaged his conditions unreasonably, disproportionately and contrary to the ordinance, but they are, at this moment, risking his life in a tangible way. The [Arabs’] cells are adjacent to his cell.”

Kochav also pointed out that “while the prisoners exit to the yard, they knock on his cell doors, talk into his cell window, and threaten his life. Likewise during the outings, when the prisoners are in the yard, the detainee (Ettinger) is showered with curses, insults, and, worst of all, death threats. In addition, the prisoner in the cell next to Mr. Ettinger’s is banging on the walls throughout the night and shouting, in order to disturb and harm Mr. Ettinger.”

David Israel

Shabak Issues Last Administrative Detention Order Before Lieberman Takes Over

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Only days before MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) takes over as defense minister, the Shabak secret police on Friday issued an unprecedented administrative detention, ordering a Jewish youth to avoid contact with a list of 87 individuals, legal aid society Honenu announced Monday morning. The decree, issued by GOC Home Front Command Major General Yoel Strick, also ordered the same youth to be under house arrest at night. An additional decree, signed by OC Central Command Major General Roni Numa, bans the same youth from entering Judea and Samaria.

The Shabak ordered a Jewish youth to avoid contact with a list of 87 individuals.

The Shabak ordered a Jewish youth to avoid contact with a list of 87 individuals.

Like all administrative detentions, the orders against this youth do not mention any charges pending against him, or even any specific suspicions. The reason for the severe limits on his civil rights is stated as: “To secure state security, public peace, and maintaining public order.”

Israeli citizens could probably observe on Monday to see if any of the above conditions have improved following these orders, which were issued on the recommendations of the Jewish section of the secret police.

Administrative detentions have been the modus operandi of outgoing Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who used them generously in place of thorough police investigation. His reign will be remembered, among other things, for the torture interrogations of Jewish suspects for long weeks without access to an attorney or their families. Considering Ya’alon’s repeated concern for Israel’s democracy, it’s evident he probably did not complete the entire course on this subject.

Honenu’s statement included the organization’s hope that “the new defense minister will learn this subject during his grace period, and maybe succeed in stopping the values that have already been falling down this slippery slope.”

Meanwhile, it is unclear whether Meir Ettinger, the grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, will be released from his ten months of administrative detention, imposed by Ya’alon last August.

David Israel

Meir Kahane’s Grandson May Be Released from Administrative Detention

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

After ten months of administrative detention in an isolation cell, without charges or an indictment, never mind a trial, prisoner Meir Ettinger, grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, is expected to be released—probably to home detention, a Shabak representative told the Lod District Court on Tuesday.

The court ruled that the clandestine police must determine in one week which limiting conditions it would like to see placed on Ettinger after his release, possibly on June 1.

Last summer, while he was being interrogated by the Jewish Section of the Shabak, Ettinger was presented with a six-month administrative detention order signed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. A few weeks later, an additional administrative decree signed by Ya’alon moved Ettinger to an isolation cell when the prison authorities expressed concern that Ettinger was influencing the other prisoners. When the six months were up, Ya’alon signed another, four-month decree, the maximum allowed by law for an extension.

One month ago, the rightwing public was enraged when Ya’alon refused to allow Ettinger to leave jail for a few hours in order to attend his firstborn son’s circumcision in Jerusalem.

So far, Meir Kahane’s great-grandson, Netzach Binyamin, who is two months old, has not been served with a Ya’alon administrative detention writ, though the prison authorities did suggest the brit mila be performed in jail.

David Israel

8 Jews Ejected from Temple Mount, Passover Day 4

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

For the third day in a row, Israel Police removed eight Jews from the Temple Mount, five of them by 10 am Tuesday, the fourth day of Passover. Every day so far this week, Jews have been thrown out of the grounds of the Temple Mount by Israeli security forces. On Tuesday, eight were arrested by midday.

Two were removed and arrested for bowing during their tour of the grounds in a manner that resembled the ancient prayers of the holy Temple times, according to a statement by the Honenu legal aid group.

“During visits to the Temple Mount groups the security forces removed three Jewish visitors who violated the rules for visiting the site,” an Israel Police spokesperson said in a statement shortly after 9:30 am. “Visitation hours will continue as planned.” The next two Jews were arrested shortly after.

There have been numerous summary detentions and ejections so far this holiday. Occasionally, a police spokesperson has told media that one or more of the Jews was caught “praying.”

Some Jews actually have been seen dramatically covering their eyes and reciting the “Sh’ma” prayer to the heavens and earth. It is an unusual occurrence these days, and one that is a real act of utter defiance.

The “Sh’ma” is Judaism’s call to the faithful, and a warning to those who are not: “Hear O Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is One. Blessed Be His Name Whose glorious Kingdom is forever.”

To a Muslim Arab, it is tantamount to the jihadist’s “Allahu Akbar!” – The Arabic shout of ‘God is Great!’ – yelled just prior to holy war. But most of the time, a Jew recites the Sh’ma prayer as part of routine services three times a day, in addition to every night just before retiring to bed.

However, the Sh’ma is also said on one’s deathbed – and in life-threatening situations, including war – so it is in this respect the prayer parallels the “Allahu Akbar.”

Clearly the Muslims on the Temple Mount are well aware of this, although some of the hapless Jewish tourists who ascend to the site may themselves not be aware of the prayer’s deepest ramifications.

Some of the Jewish tourists are so moved by their experience they murmur recite the only Hebrew prayer they have ever learned, the one passed down to them by their ancestors: the Sh’ma.

Imagine their shock when they are grabbed roughly by an Israeli police officer and dragged away off the grounds and into a precinct, all the while either in silence or with a scolding in Hebrew which they often don’t even speak or understand … Israeli hasbara at its best.

Hana Levi Julian

Minister Uri Ariel: Keep Administrative Detention for ‘Time Bombs’

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Hunger-striking Palestinian Islamic Jihad administrative detainee prisoner Mohammed Alla’an is still in very serious condition at Barzilai Medical Center, but is not being force-fed, and technically he is free at this time.

The High Court of Justice has suspended his administrative detention after it became clear that his medical condition had deteriorated and he had caused himself brain damage as a result of refusing food for more than 60 days.

Attorneys for the suspected terrorist and for the state have been debating over what has been the core cause of Alla’an’s condition — his hunger strike or the administrative detention that led him to refuse food in a bid for freedom.

Few are pointing to the behavior that led to the administrative detention in the first place, in part because the evidence has not been made public.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel told Galei Tzahal Army Radio in an interview this morning (Aug. 20) he opposes the use of administrative detention except for when the suspect can be classified as a “ticking time bomb.”

“The State of Israel resorts to the practice of administrative detentions too easily and too often,” Ariel said. “It should only be used in cases in which there is an imminent threat of an attack.”

Ariel said the state, rather than the High Court, has mishandled the current situation with the hunger-striking Alla’an.

“My problem is not with the High Court of Justice,” the minister said. “It’s the fact that the representatives of the state don’t force-feed him and make sure that [Allan] stays alive.”

“They can’t find any doctor in the entire country willing to force-feed him,” Ariel said. “It boggles the mind. The situation that has been created is more than strange.”

Hana Levi Julian

US, Setting Example For Israel, Releases Taliban Terrorists

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

On 28 July, Jonathan Tobin asked, at Commentary, if the U.S. would release terrorist killers as a precondition for talks – the measure Secretary of State John Kerry was demanding of Israel.

A couple of days later, in an almost supernaturally handy turn of events, we had the answer: yes.  The U.S. did exactly that at the end of July, agreeing to release five Taliban terrorists we’ve been holding at Guantanamo, in order to jumpstart the initiative – mainly ours – for talks with the Taliban.

Daniel Greenfield points out at FrontPage that in June, the Taliban offered to exchange U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for the five Taliban at Gitmo.  The Haqqani network of the Pakistan Taliban has been holding Bergdahl since late June or early July of 2009, shortly after he went missing close to Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan.

But the Gitmo Five were released without an exchange for SGT Bergdahl taking place.  This will have to be a blow to his family in Idaho (not to mention a blow to Bergdahl).

It will also be another blow to U.S. credibility, already on the ropes.  It certainly dents the credibility of detention as a deterrent to terrorism.  Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, had a hilariously timed oped in Friday’s Washington Post online in which he argued that the Obama administration should declare that the “war against al Qaeda” – yes, that al Qaeda; the one that has our embassies shut down across the Muslim world this weekend – is over.  Instead of acting on a war footing and killing terrorists, says Mr. Roth, we should be going with President Obama’s own expressed preference to “detain, interrogate, and prosecute” them.

Now, I have been a critic myself of Obama’s overreliance on drone killings as a method.  And detention and interrogation, while important for intelligence gathering, are not methods of deterrence, nor is prosecution.  I don’t argue for them as a substitute for drone attacks.

I’m getting those points out of the way so we can focus on what matters here, which is that detention is as close to meaningless as makes no difference, if we’re just going to turn terrorists loose anyway, to everyone we might have a yen to have “talks” with.  The Obama administration, just a few days before his oped appeared, provided Kenneth Roth with a conversation-stopping answer to his proposition that we should kill less and detain more.  The answer leaves Roth in the dust:  whether we stop killing terrorists or not, we should release the ones we have detained in order to get terrorists to have talks with us.

I guess, technically, there would be a purpose for detaining a few from time to time, on the assumption that we may want to have talks with their comrades in terror in the future.  This kind of preemptive hostage-taking is gang-and-guerrilla behavior, of course.  The degrees by which the mode of thinking shifts from “responsible statesman” to “mob boss” are not subtle here.

In any case, we can reassure Mr. Roth that the U.S. ended the war on terror in 2009.  Perhaps that’s not the same thing as the “war against al Qaeda,” but in the latter regard, Roth would do well to try and keep up:  al Qaeda has been “decimated” and has been “on the path to defeat” for a year or more, according to the Obama administration.

The die seems to be cast; we can at least hope that God really does watch out for fools, drunks, and the United States, because our president certainly isn’t doing it.  Given the reigning jumble of confused soundbites and incoherent actions that now masquerades as U.S. policy on the global threat of terrorism, we may justly ask, with our former secretary of state: what difference, at this point, does it make?

J. E. Dyer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/us-setting-example-for-israel-releases-taliban-terrorists/2013/08/06/

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