Sunday, May 20, 2012

Palestinian prisoners in... Palestine?

On Monday, May 7th, 2012, El País published an article by Ana Carbajosa under the title Israel deniega la excarcelación a dos presos palestinos al borde de la muerte (Israel rejects to release two almost dead Palestinian prisoners). Excerpts from the article below (translated as accurate as possible, between quotation marks):

"Adameer, the Palestinian association which provides legal counseling to many of the prisoners, denounces that penitentiary authorities have begun a campaign of reprisals against the strikers, who are said to be deprived of visits, access to lawyers and all kind of personal goods. Some of them are even confined in isolation cells, according to Adameer."

All these measures are actually applied in the jails of almost every single democratic State. It's a way to fight against those prisoners who don't adapt themselves to the rules of the jail or who incite others to commit rebellious acts.

Ana Carbajosa's article also deals with the Israeli administrative detention:

"However, institutions like the European Union have criticized in the past the 'excessive use' of this Israeli legal precept, which according to the international legislation should be applied in very exceptional cases and to prevent damages which couldn't be prevented in another way."

Precisely an exceptional case is that of Israel. It's not a country which fights against terrorism under the same circumstances Spain or the Federal Republic of Germany have fought under against E.T.A. and the Red Army Fraction, respectively. Israel fights terrorism in the context of an armed conflict, thus making the terrorists enemies of the State during wartime. And enemies of the State during wartime, irrespective of the fact that they're terrorists or not, are not held in the same conditions as conventional criminals.

More examples of Spanish newspapers denouncing Israel's treatment of Palestinian prisoners are Público (Thousands of Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike), El Mundo (More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike) and ABC (Barbecues to disrupt the hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners), for example.

But there is something the Spanish mainstream media doesn't talk about, at least not usually: those Palestinian prisoners who are held by their fellow Palestinians in Palestinian territory. The Jerusalem Post, however,  informs about it. For example, on Sunday, May 13th, 2012, this Israeli newspaper published an article by Khaled Abu Toameh under the title Fatah prisoners held by Hamas go on hunger strike.

And Hamas can't argue that the prisoners it holds are enemies of the State during wartime. Actually, those Palestinians held (or something even worse than just being held) by Hamas are mainly political prisoners who are suspected to be members of al-Fatah, the faction which fights against Hamas for the Palestinian political hegemony. It should also be noticed that Hamas is a terrorist organization and not a legitimate authority which could be legally recognized as such. What Hamas pretends when arresting Palestinians suspected to be members of al-Fatah or to support it, is to terrorize its fellow countrymen, warning them neither to show any sort of sympathy nor to join or help main Hamas' political rival in Palestine.