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View Diary: Palestinian Political Prisoners  in Israel - Adalah series (49 comments)

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  •  Israeli law considers a child a minor (7+ / 0-)

    until he or she is 18.  Israeli military lawtreats a child as an adult beginning at the age of 16, and "criminal" activity including membership in a Palestinian political movement, can allow the Israeli military courts to hand down sentences as long as ten years.  

    While the minimal age for criminal liability is 12 for both Israelis and Palestinians, under the Israeli justice system, a person is a minor until age 18, but under the military justice system for Palestinians, a person is a minor only until 16.

    Military order 132 on "judging juvenile delinquents" lists three categories for minors: A "child" is under 12, a "youth" is between the ages of 12 and 14, and "young adults" are between ages 14 and 16.

    According to military law, the is no statute of limitations on offenses by Palestinians, even if the suspect committed the offense when he or she was a minor. Kuzmar said he once represented a 17-year-old who was tried for throwing a Molotov cocktail when he was younger than 12.

    While the new order ostensibly sets a two-year statute of limitations for offenses committed by minors, it also allows the military prosecutor to overrule this: "A man should not be tried for an offense committed when he was a minor if two years have elapsed, unless the main military prosecutor agrees to the trial," it states.

    Kuzmar, who has been defending minors in Israeli military courts for 11 years, said that in his experience, the military prosecution, as the prosecuting branch of an occupying power, does not pass on opportunities to try Palestinians.

    The order also does not change how the court hands down sentences, which are set based on the age of the person at the time of the trial, not at the time of the offense. Clause 132 states that "youths" between ages 12-14 at the time of their conviction can be sentenced to jail terms of no more than six months, while "young adults" can be sentenced to up to a year.

    However, the same clause makes an exception for "offenses punishable by more than five years imprisonment." Kuzmar says this covers a wide arrange of offenses, including stone-throwing (10 to 20 years) and membership in a prohibited organization (10 years).

    Jawaher Abu Rahme, rest in peace. The struggle for freedom will continue.

    by soysauce on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 12:59:34 PM PST

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    •  The only rule is there are no rules? It's amazing (7+ / 0-)

      they even bother to codify anything.

      As Nixon said, "If the President does it that means that it's not illegal."

      "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

      by Terra Mystica on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:18:44 PM PST

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      •  i.e. from the description they codify a universal (7+ / 0-)

        exception right along with the rules.  I always thought that the rules were codified and the indiscriminate application of the rules was because they were simply ignored with impunity.  

        Turns out the rules were being followed.

        Curiouser and curiouser.

        "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

        by Terra Mystica on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:29:55 PM PST

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        •  It rivals East Germany's Stasi. (8+ / 0-)

          One day all the documentation of the Israeli system will come to light and we will all wonder why it took so long to come down.  

          Look at some of these examples of military law:

          Selected Examples of the 2500 Military Orders
          Governing Palestinians
          Military Order #818--establishes how Palestinians can plant decorative flowers.

          Military Order # 998--requires Palestinians to get Israeli military permission to make a withdrawal from their bank accounts.

          Military Order #93 and amendment--gives all Palestinian insurance business to the Israeli Insurance Syndicate.

          Military Order #96--forbids transport or purchase of goods on a donkey.

          Military Order # 537--removes democratically elected Mayors of West Bank cities from their positions.

          Military Order # 811 and #847--allows Jews to purchase land from unwilling Palestinian sellers by using a ‘power of attorney.’

          Military Order # 25--forbids public inspection of land transactions.

          Military Order # 58--makes land transactions immune to review so long as the transaction was carried out by an Israeli ‘acting in good faith.’

          Military Order # 58, Article 5--says any land transaction will not be voided even if proven to be invalid.

          Military Order #101--forbids a gathering of more than 10 people unless the Israeli military receives advance notice with names of all participants.

          Military Order #107--bans publications of works on Arabic grammar, histories of the Crusades and works on Arab nationalism.

          More absurdity here.

          Jawaher Abu Rahme, rest in peace. The struggle for freedom will continue.

          by soysauce on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 08:21:03 PM PST

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          •  I just never grasped how seamless/crystalline (9+ / 0-)

            the occupation is.  Apologies if you've posted this link before.  I never got to it.

            More on the "process" from your link (great summary, btw):

            Use of Military Courts to Suppress Opposition
            • From 2002 to 2006, Israel’s military courts filed more than 43,000 indictments against Palestinians, of which only one third were security-related.
            • Israel’s military courts do not comply with international standards of due process.
            • There is no ‘presumption of innocence,’ placing the burden of proof on the defense.
            • Palestinian defendants are not informed of charges against them until their firstcourt hearing. Defendants and their attorneys are then expected to respondimmediately, with no time to study the indictment.
            • Indictments are written and presented in Hebrew – a language most defendants do not understand.
            • Court decisions can be based on ‘secret evidence’ not provided to a detainee or his or her lawyer.
            • Decisions of the court are not published.
            • All judges are Israeli military officers, many without legal background or education.
            • If a defendant refuses to plea-bargain, the result is a far more severe penalty.
            • 95% to 97% of convictions are the result of plea bargains.
            • The average hearing lasts just 3 minutes and 4 seconds.
            • In 2006, the acquittal rate for Palestinian defendants was only 0.29%.

            On water, I never knew that Israel had erected a physical barrier in the Gaza aquifer to stop surface water from recharging the aquifer.  I thought they just pumped so much that Gaza wells became brackish.  One's rationalize-able (maybe).  The other is just evil.

            Gaza Aquifer, the only source of fresh water in the Gaza Strip
            • Israel, through years of over-pumping deep-bore wells along the Gaza Strip, has drawn sewage and salt water contamination into the Gaza Aquifer.
            • Israel has reduced natural recharge of the Gaza Aquifer by constructing a physical barrier or ‘verge’ to prevent fresh water from the Hebron Hills from reaching the Gaza Aquifer.
            • Today 90 to 95% of the Gaza Aquifer is unfit for human consumption, much of it unfit even for irrigation or showering.
            • Between 2000 and mid-2006, Israel destroyed 244 of Gaza’s wells and destroyed 6.2 miles of culinary water lines.
            • By January 2008, 40% of the homes in Gaza had no running water.

            And looking up that led to this:

            The Palestinian-Israeli Joint Cooperation in the Water Sector
            A need to Enhance Cooperation

            By: M. Aiman Jarrar
            General Director of Water Control
            Palestinian Water Authority/West Bank
            Former Member of the Joint Water Committee

            ...In addition to the loss of more than 160 thousands dunums of the best agricultural lands in this stage of the wall, around 23 Palestinian wells pumping around 6.5 MCM/Yr which forms around 30% of the Palestinian share in the Western Aquifer Basin were lost inside the wall ... (Bolding mine.)

            Highly coveted water on one hand.  Arcane and unappealable rules that would make Kafka blush on the other.  The more the water is coveted, the more control and/or diversion is needed, the more arcane the rules and process, the more prisoners.

            Sorry to ramble OT (fbtp).  But the occupation seems like it is [is becoming?] self-constricting (this being just one specific/loop).  Is any of this realistically separable through negotiations?  Looks like a living example of the Gordian Knot parable.

            Sooo, thanks for the link.  ;)

            "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

            by Terra Mystica on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 10:17:07 PM PST

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