Israel’s Emergency Defense Law, (like Canada’s War Measures Act) gives police extraordinary powers to ignore the normal procedures of a democratic society. It has been rarely invoked against Jewish Israelis but is frequently used during demonstrations by its own Palestinian citizens. After the truce with Hamas in mid May, Israel used the law to launch “Operation Law and Order’. Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested. We spoke to one of them, Jarar Farah, Director General of Mossawa. Read more and watch…
Throughout May, Israeli police detained more than 1,900 Palestinian citizens of Israel, following a Palestinian uprising against Israeli state violence in Jerusalem and attacks on Arabs by Jewish mobs in coastal cities such as Jaffa, Haifa, and Lydd. As of May 24, a police spokesperson told the New York Times that at least 70 percent of those arrested were Palestinian citizens.
Testimonies collected by Adalah, a palestinian legal group, revealed that Israeli officers beat detainees and deprived them of medical treatment during the crackdown.
“Police ran a torture room in Nazareth”, claims Adalah. “Israel’s police openly announced that ‘Operation Law and Order’ was intended to intimidate and serve as ‘deterrent’ to its Palestinian citizens.
Fernand de Varennes, the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority issues, condemned the violence: “Reports of extreme right-wing violence and disproportional use of force by law enforcement officials during protests in recent weeks, including in Sheikh Jarrah, Damascus Gate and the Al-Aqsa mosque, have led to some of the worst cases of violence against Palestinian citizens of Israel,” said Fernand de Varennes, a Canadian who teaches law at the University of Moncton. He urged Israel to fully and equally protect all of its citizens without discrimination.
CTIP spoke with Jafar Farah, Director General of Mossawa, the Advocacy Centre for Arab Citizens of Israel on the brutal Israeli crackdown on its own Palestinian citizens.
Amnesty International concurs
“Israeli police have committed a catalogue of violations against Palestinians in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem, carrying out a discriminatory repressive campaign including sweeping mass arrests, using unlawful force against peaceful protesters, and subjecting detainees to torture and other ill-treatment, during and after the armed hostilities in Israel and Gaza”. Amnesty International said in a special report.
What has been the Canadian response?
The Canadian government, which likes to present itself internationally as a leading advocate of human rights, has yet to comment on either the UN report on the information provided by Amnesty International.
Meanwhile in the West Bank and East Jerusalem…..
Deaths and injuries to Palestinians inflicted by both settlers and Israeli military forces continue unabated. Here is the latest biweekly report from the UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Jerusalem.
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.
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