Israeli Ministerial Committee Drafts Bill to Restrict Release of Palestinian Detainees

RAMALLAH, July 27, 2015 (WAFA) – An Israeli ministerial committee has drafted, what has been described as an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill that would impose more restrictions on the process of freeing Palestinian detainees in the future, reported the Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth daily.

Headed by Israeli ‘Justice’ Minister Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli Legislation Ministerial Committee drafted an unprecedented ‘anti terrorism’ bill that broadens the definition of ‘terrorist organizations’ and stipulates that sanctions must be imposed on those participating, aiding and abetting so-called ‘terrorist’ organizations.

The bill, “which widens the authority granted to security forces in dealing with Palestinian suspects, seeks to instate new laws and update existing regulations, some of which date back to the British mandate era before Israel’s establishment,” the daily Times of Israel reported.

It further reported that one article, for example, would sentence Palestinians ‘convicted of heading a terror organization’ to 25 years in jail or more. It would also allow Israel to sentence Palestinians who are ‘regular or junior members’ in specific organizations to five years while sentence others ‘serving in positions of authority’ to15 years.

The bill would also place restrictions on the Israeli ‘Justice’ Minister’s parole board in terms of granting parole for Palestinians serving life sentences on “terror-related crimes”, until such individuals have served at least 15 years. This may hinder the Israeli government’s ability to carry out future prisoner swaps with Palestinian groups.

The draft bill is expected to be brought before the Israeli Knesset for a preliminary reading with the intention of signing it into law by the end of 2015.

It would also criminalize Palestinians identifying with a “registered terror group”, publishing “terror-related materials”, and praising groups in a way that Israel believes could “incite terror attacks.”

The committee behind the bill claims this law will target individuals or firms that offer services to “terror groups”, for example a technician called in to repair computers belonging to a “terror group”. The bill would also target “groups that passively assist terror — including third party “support” groups — such as charities that funnel monies to extremist organizations.”

This came as hundreds of Israeli guards from the Nahshon, Masada, Dror and Alamaz units of the Israeli Prison Service continued their raids on Palestinian detainees’ cells in the Israeli jails. Prison guards stormed the cells of Palestinian detainees in Nafha and Rimon prison, assaulted many detainees and moved them to other sections.

The Israeli repression unit of Masada savagely raided section 10 housing Palestinian detainees from the Gaza Strip in Nafha prison, moving all of them to other sections and ransacking the content of the cells.

The Palestinian Detainees and Ex-detainees Committee reported that in defiance and protest of the Israeli Prison Service’s arbitrary measures, Palestinian detainees’ burnt cell number 85 in the old section of the prison.

Palestinian detainees were threatened that they would be moved from section 10 to sections 1 and 2 by the Israeli Prison Service, according to Palestinian Prisoners Society.