Israel: Knesset Passes New Anti-Palestinian Laws

The Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, has passed three laws targeting prisoners and Palestinians in 1948-occupied territories, with the support of the representatives of the Unified Arab list led by Mansour Abbas and his participants in the current government coalition in an unprecedented move in Israeli politics.

The new law of prisoners gives free rein to the Israeli prison service to impose further restrictions against Palestinian detainees and use harsher methods than those used with criminal detainees, says Quds news network.

The second law about National security goals allows the Israeli military to use its units to back the Israeli police for national security goals. This term is usually used to justify violations and crimes against Palestinians.

The last law is Houses’ search that gives permission to the Israeli police and army to storm and search houses belonging to native Palestinians without warrants or any other court order. These attacks on privacy are allowed under the guise of fighting violence and crime.

These laws may come as a punishment to the Palestinians after last May protests in support of Jerusalem and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and after the escape of 6 Palestinian prisoners from Gilboa prison last September. These laws can be due to the failure of the Israeli police to combat violence and the spread of weapons and crime in the Arab community, as the death toll from Arabs, 48 Palestinians, from the beginning of 2021 until today has reached 105.

Representative Sami Abu Shehadeh described the laws as being rejected by all human rights organizations, pointing out that the Joint List’s position, in general, is a moral and patriotic stance that rejects revenge against the Palestinian society under the pretext of fighting violence and crime and does not accept the abuse of prisoners.

The human rights defender, Hanan Khatib, points out that this draft law did not pass the previous one despite the attempts of successive governments due to strong opposition to the violation of basic rights and now the “government of change” and with the support of Arab representatives from Al-Muwahhidah and Meretz who strongly opposed this law over the previous years and today they are legitimizing Infringement of basic human rights and directed in particular against our Arab masses”, reports PiPa News.

The Israeli Communist Party and the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality condemned the United Arab List vote. The Communist Party and the Front explained that “supporting these laws is a disgrace. We have repeatedly warned against this approach – the approach of exchanging rights and national positions for some budgets that are originally a right for us, and whose price cannot be accepted as supporting the laws of occupation and settlements, targeting prisoners, and assaulting the rights of our Palestinian people.”

These laws openly target the Palestinian Arab community at home and the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. These laws allow for an increase in racist practices against Palestinians, and affect the basic rights of the Palestinian people by expanding the powers of the occupation army and police in order to achieve “security objectives.”

The vote in favor of the laws from the United Arab list further represents its willingness to make concessions in exchange for the downfall of Benjamin Netanyahu and support for the government coalition headed by Naftali Bennett to the detriment of the Palestinian people.

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