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Palestinians Threaten to Boycott Israeli Occupation Courts

Palestinians Threaten to Boycott Israeli Occupation Courts

Thursday, 4 January, 2018 - 15:00
Israeli lawmakers attend a vote on a bill at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem. Reuters

Palestinian Minister for Inmates' Affairs in the Palestinian Authority Issa Qaraqe threatened to boycott the Israeli occupation courts in case of Israeli insistence to approve the racist and illegal legislation to execute the prisoners.

Qaraqe said this will lead to an uprising and rebellion against the Israeli judiciary and will halt dealing with Israeli military courts.

The Knesset, Israel's parliament, on Wednesday approved a preliminary reading of a controversial bill that would allow the Israeli authorities to impose the death penalty against Palestinians involved in "operations against Israeli targets.”

Proposed by the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, the bill's first reading was approved by a vote of 52 to 49.

The legislation has been heavily endorsed by Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's hardline defense minister, and was part of an earlier coalition agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voted for the motion but said that such legislation required deeper discussion and that the matter would now be considered at ministerial level before further debate in the Knesset.

“The occupying state of Israel should not apply its laws to the Palestinian people. Palestinian prisoners must be protected in line with international law; they should not be treated as convicted criminals," Qaraqe said.

He urged the international community to intervene on behalf of Palestinian prisoners and pressure Israel to abide by its obligations under international law.

The series of Israeli laws are racist and ruthless, and they violate international humanitarian law and the dignity of prisoners as they aim at criminalizing the Palestinian national struggle and delegitimizing the prisoners' struggle and their legal status as prisoners of freedom and resistance to achieve self-determination.

As the law stands now, a panel of three military judges must unanimously approve any death penalty in military courts.

The bill would change the requirement to a majority instead of unanimity.

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