To: Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Health Minister Nitzan Horowietz
We, Israeli citizens, stand in solidarity with Palestinian administrative detainees being held in Israeli military prisons without charge or trial. Since January 1st, Palestinian administrative detainees have been opposing the blatant violation of their rights by refusing to participate in the military’s legal proceedings against them.
One of the striking prisoners is the youth Amal Nakhleh. Amal was arrested over one year ago at the age of sixteen and has been held ever since without charge or trial. He suffers from an autoimmune disease that impairs his muscle function and breathing ability. This requires ongoing medical treatment and monitoring. He was initially arrested under suspicion of stone throwing. After a military judge ordered his release, the GSS issued an administrative detention order against him. In January 2022, he boycotted his case review by a military court. In his absence, the military Judge extended his detention until the 17th of May, at which point it may be extended again, and again1.
Of 4400 Palestinians currently imprisoned by the occupation forces, 490 are in administrative detention2. Israel imprisons Administrative detainees indefinitely without ever informing them why. In cases like Amal’s, when the authorities do not have sufficient evidence for indictment or do not want to reveal the evidence they allegedly possess, administrative detention is used as an alternative to criminal trial. This blurs the distinction between an administrative proceeding- which was designed to be a preventive measure- and regular criminal proceedings that are punitive and retroactive. Israel exploits this gray area to detain Palestinians for expressing their political opinions and for engaging in non-violent political activity.
Israeli military judges maintain the secrecy of evidence and often do not seek any at all3. The percentage of requests for arrest approved by the military court is approximately 99%. These proceedings are often little more than a rubber stamp for the GSS to do with Palestinians as they please. When a prisoner is finally released from administrative detention, they can always be arrested again at any time without any given reason. This arbitrary use of administrative detention orders amounts to torture4.
The military justice system, in which Israeli military officers serve as the judge and prosecutor of orders issued by the Israeli military commander, views Palestinians solely as enemies and a danger by virtue of their national identity. Since 1967, the Israeli occupation forces have arrested more than 800,000 Palestinian men, women and children in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
The military legal system cooperates with the GSS to maintain a state of control over the Palestinian population and trample on any opposition to the occupation. This system is an inevitable and even necessary part of a d5iscriminatory system that maintains a regime of control through the systematic repression of another population. This is the definition of the crime of apartheid5.
We therefore demand the immediate release of Amal Nahala and all Palestinian political detainees held arbitrarily without charge.
1 Israeli military court renews Palestinian teen’s administrative detention,DCI-palestine, June 03 2021
2 Addameer Prisoner support and Human RIghts Association
3 Administrative Detention, Betselm 11 Nov 2017
4 500 PALESTINIAN ADMINISTRATIVE DETAINEES HELD WITHOUT CHARGE OR TRIAL IN ISRAELI OCCUPATION PRISONS, Adammeer, 15 Feb 2022
5 ISRAEL’S APARTHEID AGAINST PALESTINIANS CRUEL SYSTEM OF DOMINATION AND CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY, Amnesty International 2022