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Unlawful combatant used to detain without charges

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Israel uses term “unlawful combatant” to justify detention without charges

The ministry of detainees and ex-detainees in Gaza stated Wednesday that the Israeli intelligence apparatus started using the term “unlawful combatant”, which has no basis in international law, to justify the detention of Palestinian prisoners for an indefinite period without charge.

Riyadh Al-Ashqar, the director of the ministry’s information office, underlined that the use of such a term incurs serious legal and human rights consequences where the IOA uses it to continue detaining Palestinian prisoners without pressing any charges or indictment against them or granting them a fair trial at the pretext that there are secret files which prove that they are “unlawful combatants”.

Ashqar pointed out that this decision is a gross violation of the minimum standards of human rights and international humanitarian law especially the fourth Geneva convention on the protection of the civilian population because it deprives the detained from their right to defend themselves before the courts.

The Palestinian official appealed to the international community to stop Israel from continuing to violate international law and to impose sanctions on it for violating the laws it signed.

In a related development, the Palestinian official strongly denounced the Israeli military court for extending arbitrarily the four-year imprisonment term of Sheikh Hasan Yousef, a member of the Hamas parliamentary bloc, to six years at the pretext of the secret file.

Meanwhile, the IOF troops at the Container checkpoint in northern Bethlehem detained at noon Wednesday MP Samira Al-Halaiqa, a member of the Hamas parliamentary bloc, and kidnapped journalist Mohamed Al-Qiq who was present with her.

Palestinian eyewitnesses reported the Israeli police kidnapped 45 Palestinian workers in the Khadera town in the Palestinian lands occupied in 1948 at the pretext that they did not hold permits, adding that the policemen maltreated and physically assaulted the workers.

The confederation of unions in the West Bank deplored these arbitrary practices against the impoverished workers who suffer a lot to earn their living, calling on human rights organizations to pressure Israel to stop such acts and get the workers released.

In another development, the IOF troops invaded at dawn Wednesday the Nablus city, northern West Bank, and kidnapped seven Palestinian citizens after breaking into and ransacking a number of houses in different areas of the city.

The IOF troops also kidnapped today 16 Palestinians in the West Bank cities of Jenin, Tulkarem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Al-Khalil, according to the Hebrew radio *Source: Palestine-Information Centre