Locking up Arabs and throwing away the key

B’Tselem and Hamoked – Center for the Defence of the Individual release a report this week that shows the real burden of the Israeli occupation:

Under international law, a state may detain a resident of occupied territory without trial to prevent danger only in extremely exceptional cases. Israel, however, holds hundreds of Palestinians for months and years under administrative orders, without prosecuting them. By doing so, it denies them rights to which ordinary detainees in criminal proceedings are entitled: they do not know why they are detained, when they will go free and what evidence exists against them, and are not given an opportunity to refute this evidence.

As with many patterns of its activity in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, Israel cites what it defines as “security needs” to explain its policy of detention without trial. Yet these needs, assuming they indeed exist in every case of administrative detention, cannot justify such grave infringement of human rights, in breach of international humanitarian law.