6:00 am ET, November 30, 2023
Palestinian prisoners have been freed over Israel’s controversial justice system in the occupied West Bank.
From CNN’s Ivana Kotasova, Barbara Arvanidis, Nima Elbakir, Abeer Salman and Alex Platt
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Fatima Shahin spent seven months in an Israeli prison. Authorities initially accused him of trying to kill an Israeli in the occupied West Bank, but he has not been charged with any crime.
On Friday, the 33-year-old from the West Bank city of Bethlehem was released, one of 39 Palestinians released that day in exchange for Israeli hostages as part of the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
Like Shahin, most of those released so far have been detained No fee charged, were interrogated or given an opportunity to defend themselves. Some say they were not even told why they were detained.
Some Palestinians were detained under a murky military justice system that theoretically allows Israel to hold people indefinitely without trial or charge.
Israel is acting Two different justice systems Since seizing the area in the West Bank in 1967. Palestinians living there come under the jurisdiction of Israel’s military courts, where judges and prosecutors are uniformed Israeli soldiers. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers there are subject to civil courts.
A legal adviser to the Israel Defense Forces’ international legal department told CNN on Wednesday that the different systems are in place because, under international law, Israel is not allowed to “export” its own legal system to the West Bank.
B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, a non-governmental organization, said the courts “serve as one of the central institutions that maintain control over Israel. On the Palestinian people.”
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