Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ferwana: arrests in the West Bank have become part of everyday life

07.04.09 - 22:15

Gaza / PNN - The former prisoner affairs specialist and researcher Abdul-Nasser Ferwana expressed concern about the continuation and escalation of indiscriminate mass arrests in the governorates of the West Bank

Imagewithout need or justification, even according to the concepts of occupation and unjust laws and false claims.

Ferwana explained that the arrests are part of the culture of the institution of the security of the occupation, and tradition has become a constant in their behavior, as well as part of everyday life for the Palestinians there. Not one day goes by where there aren’t many cases of arrests, some of which are carried out according to the claims of the occupation imperatives of security and in accordance with the laws, but most are implemented as a measure of temperamental and sometimes extortionate revenge.

Ferwana claims that the danger in the frequency of these arrests is that the usually gradual escalation has risen significantly since the beginning of the year; for example, the record reached in March shows the arrest of 395 citizens of the governorates of the West Bank and Jerusalem, an increase of 30% on the status of the previous month, at a time when those areas were relatively quiet.

Some detainees were arrested in their homes, and others taken from the street or at military checkpoints scattered between the provinces of the West Bank. Among others, the arrests in March include former ministers, political leaders belonging to the "Hamas" movement.

Ferwana states that all of these arrests are in violation of the rules of humanitarian law, and are often accompanied by humiliation and harassment, physical assault, with detainees being sent to places of confinement with a lack of humane treatment and basic living conditions. Human rights organizations called on people to assume the responsibilities of the humanitarian and legal obligations to the ongoing arbitrary arrests, that are completely unjustified, and those that are subjected to ill-treatment and the denial of their most basic rights.

Since 1967, the Israeli authorities have arrested nearly 750 000 Palestinians, including tens of thousands of children, distributed throughout more than two dozen prisons and detention centers. They are being held under the title of "illegal combatants" or “enemy combatant".