It's as if the USA had swept up 100,000+ persons and put them in a secret gulag with no charges, no trials, no dates for release. These are the things police states do; and Israel has been leading the way for some time now in this as well as so many other areas contrary to international law and at least arguably bordering on war crimes.
Human rights group says Israel holding 1,000 Palestinians without trial
AP - Jan 2, 2003: JERUSALEM - Israel is holding 1,007 Palestinians in indefinite detention, without charges or trial, the largest number in more
than a decade and a sharp increase from last year, an Israeli human rights group said Thursday.
The human rights group B'tselem said Israel is violating
international law by using so-called administrative detentions
on a wide scale, arbitrarily and in cases where there are only
slight suspicions against people.
"It is not directed at a small group of people risking the
security of Israel," said B'tselem researcher Yael Stein. "It is
The Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of
civilians during war, does not explicitly forbid holding someone
without trial, but says this should only be done if there is
imminent danger to the security of a country.
An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that 1,007 Palestinians
were being held without trial but had no immediate comment on
Jawad Imawi, a lawyer for the Palestinian human rights group
LAW, said Israeli military courts have rejected several
petitions to free clients. "The problem is there is no evidence.
The prisoner knows nothing of why he's there," Imawi said.
Detention orders can easily be renewed every six months, making
the terms indefinite.
The number of administrative detainees hasn't topped 1,000 for
more than a decade, since the first Palestinian uprising against
Israeli occupation in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Israel's Supreme Court has rejected most petitions to release
detainees. In the wave of detentions during the first uprising,
prisoners were often given several consecutive terms, including
some who served several years.
When a decade of peace talks foundered and fighting again
erupted in September 2000, there were just 12 Palestinians held
without trial. At the beginning of 2002, 36 Palestinians were in
During a military offensive in April aimed at routing the
militants behind a barrage of suicide bombings, soldiers again
began rounding up Palestinians in large numbers. In all, more
than 5,000 Palestinians are in Israeli custody at the moment,
including those being interrogated or awaiting trial.
Most of the administrative detainees are being held in southern
Israel's Negev Desert at the Ketziot tent camp.
During the first uprising, Ketziot was notorious for its harsh
conditions - overcrowded tents, excessive heat in the summer,
freezing cold in the winter, a lack of family visits. The prison
closed in 1996 but reopened in April.