UPDATE: 128 Palestinian citizens of Israel still in detention
(Haifa, Israel) As of 12 noon today, 10 July 2014, approximately 128 Palestinian citizens of Israel, including around 30 children, remain in detention, one week after the beginning of popular demonstrations in many Arab towns and villages across the country. Scores of other individuals have been arrested and released since 3 July 2014, while the police are continuing to make new arrests every few hours.
On 8 July 2014, the Israeli police arrested 44 demonstrators from Arab villages in the north, the Triangle and the Naqab (Negev): 22 from the villages of Ibelin, Shafa ‘amr, Sakhnin, Deir Hanna, and Jisr al-Zarqa, and 22 from the Naqab, the majority of whom were arrested at their homes after a demonstration had ended in the Arab Bedouin town of Tel el-Sabi (Tel Sheva). All 44 detainees were brought to different courts on 9 July 2014, with several released after the hearings. Seven additional demonstrators were arrested today.
Release from detention of minors where police grossly violated their rights
On 9 July 2014, the Nazareth District Court accepted two appeals submitted by Adalah: one appeal to cancel the decision of the lower court to extend the detention of four minors aged 15 to 17 years old, and one appeal to cancel the extension of detention of one adult. All five individuals were released with conditions. The charges against them included, “participating in riots”, “threatening public safety on a highway” and “assaulting police officers”. In the appeal for the four minors, Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara argued that, regardless of the seriousness of the charges, the police violated numerous provisions of the criminal procedure law relating to the treatment of minors including night-time arrests, interrogations without the presence of the detained youths’ parents, and preventing lawyers from meeting with them for several hours.
Release of 3 out of 8 individuals in cases of collective arrest and detention
On 9 July 2014, Adalah Attorney Fady Khoury filed an appeal to the Beer el-Sabe District Court against the arrest and detention of 8 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel in Tel Sheva on 8 July 2014. After several demonstrators entered a coffee shop close to the protest location, the police arrested 14 people in the shop, including people who were not involved in the demonstration. The lower court extended the detention of 8 people, as a collective, finding them all to be dangerous without any individualized determination. The appeals court overturned that decision, ruling that 3 people should be released, while the other 5 were kept in detention.
Denial of due process rights: Police impose house arrest on individual for Facebook post
Adalah also filed an appeal to the Beer el-Sabe Magistrates’ Court against the house arrest of Raafat Awaishi. Awaishi was arrested by Israeli police on charges of “incitement” for writing a Facebook post calling on people to participate in these recent demonstrations. Without any hearing, the police imposed conditions of house arrest on Awaishi. In a further denial of Awiashi’s due process rights, the Magistrates’ Court, after receiving Adalah’s appeal, scheduled a hearing for Sunday 13 July 2014, the same day that the police-imposed house arrest is to end.
In the coming days, Adalah will be filing more appeals in cases involving other alleged incitement and Facebook posts, and restrictive conditions of release imposed by the courts on individuals who were arrested even before any demonstrations began.
The high number of arrests and detentions marks the largest wave of imprisonment of Palestinian citizen demonstrators in Israel since the October 2000 events. The demonstrations are being organized in response to the murder of 16-year old Mohammad Abu Khdeir from the Shu’fat neighborhood of East Jerusalem on 2 July 2014, and in protest of Israel’s military attacks throughout the occupied West Bank as well as in the Gaza Strip under the codename “Operation Protective Edge”.
Adalah has taken the lead in coordinating with volunteer lawyers to provide legal representation before all levels of Israeli courts to defend Palestinian citizens detained during the demonstrations. Court hearings are continuing to take place regarding police requests to extend the detention of individuals, and appeals against the extension of detention and conditions of release. Hearings are taking place in the Magistrates’ Courts of Nazareth, Haifa, Akka, Hadera, Petah Tikva, and Beer el-Sabe.
Adalah Press Release, “110 Palestinian citizens of Israel remain in detention after largest wave of arrests since October 2000”, 8 July 2014