Middle East Monitor / July 11, 2023
Israel has turned Palestine into an “open-air prison” where Palestinians, including tens of thousands of children, are “constantly confined, surveilled and disciplined,” according to Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories.
She told the United Nations Human Rights Council yesterday, that the Israeli military occupation has detained more than 800,000 Palestinians in the Occupied Territory since 1967 and, of the current 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, about 1,100 are being held without charge or trial.
While presenting a report on the arbitrary detention of Palestinians at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, she said Israel’s practice of unlawfully imprisoning Palestinians was “tantamount to international crimes which warranted an urgent investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.”
“Under Israeli occupation, generations of Palestinians have endured widespread and systematic arbitrary deprivation of liberty,” she added.
The report documents extensive examples of Palestinian prisoners suffering a systematic policy of medical negligence, confinement in overcrowded cells, sleep and food deprivation and severe beatings while in Israeli military custody.
It states: “The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which has addressed cases of Palestinians since 1992, has repeatedly affirmed that widespread and systematic arbitrary deprivation of liberty may amount to a crime against humanity.”
She explained how Palestinians were tortured in custody after being declared guilty without evidence and detained without charges or trial, known as administrative detention. The report further accused Israel of “invasive strip searches, sexual abuse, and threats” against the 29 Palestinian female prisoners currently held in Israeli jails.
Israeli occupation authorities have issued or renewed 1,302 administrative detention orders since the start of 2023, raising the number of administrative detainees inside Israeli jails to 1,200.
She took the opportunity to also address the increasing settlement building and activities that “appear to be part of a plan” to de-Palestinianize the Territories. “Such a plan threatens the very existence of Palestinians as a people and a national cohesive group,” she added.
The Special Rapporteur called on governments not to recognize or support illegal Israeli settlements and to hold those responsible for such settlements accountable.
She concluded in her report, “A 10,700-word report cannot capture the scale and extent of the arbitrary deprivation of liberty in the occupied Palestinian territory. Nor can it convey the suffering of millions of Palestinians who have, directly or indirectly, been affected.”
UN official: Israel turning Palestinian territories into ‘open-air prison’
Middle East Monitor / July 12, 2023
Israel has turned the occupied Palestinian territories into an “open prison” through large-scale arrests of Palestinians, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, said yesterday.
“I found that widespread and systematic arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Palestinians is a structural component of the regime that Israel has imposed upon them,” Albanese said while presenting her first report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“There is no other way to define the system that Israel imposed on the Palestinians, which is tantamount to apartheid, than as an open prison,” Albanese told journalists, according to Reuters. Albanese:
By deeming all Palestinians as a potential security threat, Israel is blurring the line between its own security and the security of its annexation plan … Palestinians are presumed guilty without evidence, arrested without warrants, detained without charge or trial very often, and brutalized in Israeli custody.
She also took the opportunity to also address the increasing settlement building and activities that “appear to be part of a plan” to de-Palestinianize the Territories. “Such a plan threatens the very existence of Palestinians as a people and a national cohesive group,” she added.
The Special Rapporteur called on governments not to recognize or support illegal Jewish settlements and to hold those responsible for such settlements accountable.