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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘palestinian prisoners’

Abbas: Freeing Terrorists and Prisoners Key Condition for Peace

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Freeing thousands of Palestinian Authority prisoners, including several terrorists serving multiple life terms in jail, has become a central condition for making peace with Israel, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday.

He seized on the current tension created by a hunger strike of prisoners and the PA allegations that prisoner Arafat Jarakat was tortured to death. An autopsy attended by a PA doctor and legal team concluded there were no signs of violence on his body.

Abbas previously has demanded the relapse of prisoners, but his decision to place it higher on the agenda, shoving aside the question of Israel’s building in Judea and Samaria, makes direct talks with Israel even more unlikely.

Palestinian Hunger Strikers Not Innocent

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

The UN’s Ban Ki-Moon cares about Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails:

9 May 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the importance of averting any further deterioration in the condition of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody who are on hunger strike, and urged everyone concerned to reach a solution to their plight without delay.

“The Secretary-General continues to follow with concern the ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody, in particular those held in what is known as administrative detention,” according to information provided by his spokesperson.

“He stresses the importance of averting any further deterioration in their condition,” the spokesperson added. “He reiterates that those detained must be charged and face trial with judicial guarantees, or released without delay.”

More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike two weeks ago, on 17 April – Palestinian Prisoners Day – to protest against unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention and bad prison conditions, according to the UN human rights office (OHCHR).

Here are some things that Moon doesn’t mention:

According to Ofir Gendleman, PM Netanyahu’s Arab media spokesperson, only six of the more than 1500 prisoners who are striking are being held in administrative detention. All of the rest are convicted terrorists (there are a total of about 4,500 Palestinians imprisoned for terror-related activity, and of these around 300 are currently in administrative detention, according to ‘rights groups’).

Arnold and Frimet Roth, whose 15-year old daughter Malki was murdered in 2001 by a bomb built by one of the striking terrorists (Abdullah Barghouti, who has said that he “feels bad that [he] killed only 66 Jews”), provide some more information:

The two who began hunger-striking in March are men called Bilal Diab and Tha’er Halahlah who are administrative detainees, held so far for nine months and 22 months respectively. Their petition came before the High Court of Justice on Monday and was heard and rejected. The court pointed to the ongoing ties of the petitioners to terrorist funding and terrorism and that they are a clear and immediate security risk to Israeli citizens. It added (which is also significant) that the Israel Prison Service is meeting or exceeding the standards required by international law regarding prisoner treatment already.

Diab and Halahlah are in fact leaders in Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The angry voices are demanding that we think of them as unjustly shunted off to prison for the equivalent of failing to pay for a television license. The media and the ranks of ‘activist’ NGOs are currently filled with such voices.

Of the other strikers, almost all were charged, tried and convicted for the most serious offenses you can think of. Hundreds are in prison for murder. Quite a number of them are unrepentant multiple murderers.

You will recall that over 1000 prisoners, including some multiple murderers, were released in the ‘exchange’ (I call it a ‘jailbreak’) for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Many of the ones that are left were not part of the deal because they were considered more dangerous or because their crimes were more vicious.

Among the leaders of the strike are these (according to Israeli government sources):

-Abbas a-Sayyid – Senior Hamas activist. He was sentenced to 35 life sentences for his role in the attack at the Park Hotel in Netanya on Passover eve in 2002 [30 dead, 140 injured].

-Muhanned Sharrim – Senior Hamas activist. He was sentenced to 29 life sentences for his involvement in the attack at the Park Hotel.

-Jamal al-Hur – Hamas activist who was sentenced to five life sentences for his involvement in terrorist attacks and murders. He was responsible for planning the attack at Café Apropo in Tel Aviv (1997) [3 dead, 48 injured].

-Wajdi Joda – Senior activist in the ‘Democratic Front’. He was involved in the suicide attack in Geha interchange (2003) [4 dead, 16 injured].

Just your average ‘political prisoners’, for whom the hearts of numerous ‘human rights’ activists are bleeding.

Finally, I want to discuss the ‘administrative detention’ provision under which 6 of the 1500 strikers are being held, since it is being compared to the Soviet Gulag and worse by the prisoners’ supporters. Administrative detention is used when an individual is deemed to be an immediate threat and where a public charge sheet would have to reveal information about sources or otherwise compromise security. NGO Monitor explains,

Most NGO statements omit the fact that administrative detention is a common procedure used by democratic and rights-respecting states around the world in security-related cases, including the US and the UK. Israel’s detention law meets and often exceeds the due process standards required by criminal procedure and human rights law [Esp. including the 4th Geneva Convention -- ed.]

Skewing The Shalit Deal, New York Times-Style

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

I’ve been reading The New York Times pretty much every single day since I was ten years old. That’s more than a half-century by now.

Along the way, I’ve been informed, inspired, and occasionally infuriated.

Last week, there were several causes for infuriation.

The first came on Monday, in the form of four photographs that appeared on the first page of the International section.

The largest of the four, 6 x 9 inches, was at the top of the page and immediately caught the reader’s attention. It was a poignant picture of a little girl leaning against a largely empty wall and staring upward, as the caption explained, to a small picture of her grandfather.

Walid Aqel, 48, was to be among those Palestinian prisoners released in the exchange for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas in 2006.

The paper failed to mention, in the caption or elsewhere, that Aqel was a founder of Hamas’s military wing, had much Israeli blood on his hands, and was sentenced by Israel to life imprisonment.

Instead, the overriding impression conveyed was that Aqel was, above all, a grandfather, whose adorable granddaughter was pining for his return from his Israeli captors.

Then, just below the photo was the article itself – “Israel Names 477 to Go Free in Trade for Hamas-Held Soldier.” And beneath the article were three small photos, each measuring 2 x 3 inches, which conveyed images of the human havoc wreaked in Israel by some of those Palestinians to be released in the deal.

Because of their diminutive size and busy images, those photos didn’t draw the eye easily, though they should have been the heart of the story. After all, they conveyed the nature of the terrorists to be freed, helping readers understand how gut-wrenching the decision must have been for Israel.

Yet those photos, together totaling 18 square inches, were submerged, while the single, stark photo at the top, 54 square inches, dominated.

Then came a Times editorial, “Gilad Shalit’s Release,” on Wednesday. It was among the most upsetting I’ve ever read.

The day after Shalit was returned to Israel, with 477 Palestinian prisoners sent to Gaza, the West Bank, and elsewhere, and a second group to be freed soon, the paper chose to go after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yet again.

He’s been a favorite whipping boy for the editorial writers since he assumed office in 2009.

They give him little credit for what he’s done to advance prospects for peace and Palestinian development – the ten-month settlement freeze, the lifting of blockades and checkpoints on the West Bank, oft-expressed support for a two-state outcome, and help for the rising Palestinian economy. And they spare no criticism for his alleged misdeeds.

But this editorial took the cake, darkly suggesting the Shalit deal was really a Machiavellian plot to further weaken chances for peace — and the blame, predictably, was laid at Netanyahu’s doorstep.

Of course, the editorial could have gone in other directions.

It might have dwelled on the extraordinary importance Israel attaches to human life, in this case the life of one soldier. It could have focused on the nature of Israeli democracy, where Gilad Shalit’s parents never stopped mobilizing on behalf of their son, and created a national movement to liberate him, irrespective of the cost.

It might have reminded the world of the contrast between Shalit’s captivity – more than five years without a single visit by the International Committee of the Red Cross, much less his family – and that of the Palestinian prisoners, none of whom surely would have wished to trade their diet, access to the outside world and, indeed, to sunlight, or opportunities for education with what Shalit endured.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/skewing-the-shalit-deal-new-york-times-style/2011/10/26/

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