Israeli faces detention without trial

An Israeli has been recommended for administrative detention - a first for a citizen of Israel - after death threats against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, his cabinet ministers and their families.

    The public prosecutor says detention would be 'extreme'

    Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra said he would recommend administrative detention for Itamar Ben-Gvir, an extremist Jew who has been referred to as a "pro-Kach movement leader", according to an Israeli newspaper.

    The "pro-Kach" leader had announced on Israel radio that right or hardline groups will hound Sharon and his ministers to let them know they are engaged in acts of "betrayal", a word used in the past by extremist Jews as a code for treason punishable by death, the Haaretz daily said.

    The minister was quoted as saying: 
    "In this matter, after examining all the material, I intend to recommend administrative detention for this man."

    Dangerous people

    "There are dangerous people out there who need to be arrested today," Ezra told the Jerusalem Post on Monday.


    A right-wing Jew announced they
    will hound Sharon and his miniters

    Kach - in Hebrew meaning "Only Thus", better known as the Jewish Defence League (JDL) - was founded by an American-born Jew, Rabbi Meir Kahane.

    The stated goal of the group and its off-shoot Kahane Chai, meaning Kahane lives, is to restore what they call the biblical state of Israel.

    Both organisations were declared terrorist organisations by the Israeli cabinet in March 1994.

    This followed the group's statements in support of Baruch Goldstein, another American Jewish immigrant, who was responsible for the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre.


    Goldstein, who mowed down 29 worshippers while in prostration during the morning prayers in the mosque, was a member of the Kach movement.


    The JDL or Kach movement was banned for incitement against Arabs and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against Palestinians, both Muslim and Christian.


    "We always prefer the criminal route, where the person is brought to trial and can defend themselves, something which is more difficult under administrative detention"

    Shai Nitzan,
    Israeli Public Prosecutor

    Referring to the pro-Kach leader Ben-Gvir, Ezra reportedly said:
    "This person  has simply lost all understanding for what is permissible under the law, and what may perhaps be within the limits of the law, but which certainly causes other people to decide to do things against the law."

    "We do not have the time [to investigate] and the people whom we have material against which is classified and cannot be brought to court should be placed in administrative detention," the Israeli minister added.

    However, public prosecutor Shai Nitzan responded to the recommendation on Monday by saying Israeli justice ministry officials would deal with the death threats through the criminal justice system, rather than through administrative detention.

    Detention without trial

    Hundreds of Palestinians have been detained and imprisoned for years without trial but the public prosecutor is quoted as saying: "It is a very extreme step" in this case.

    Nitzan also said this is the first time an Israeli had been recommended for administrative detention.

    However, "we always prefer the criminal route, where the person is brought to trial and can defend themselves, something which is more difficult under administrative detention", he added.

    Administrative detention is
    mainly used against Palestinians

    Administrative detention was introduced by the British during the colonial era.


    It means detention without trial where the order is usually renewed every six months and people can be imprisoned for an unspecified period.

    Israel has used this form of indefinite imprisonment only against Palestinians.

    Death threats

    Transport Minister Meir Sheetrit and Infrastructure Minister

    Benjamin Ben-Eliezer both revealed over the weekend that they had been on the receiving end of death threats.


    According to the Yediot Ahronoth daily, Mofaz had also received an anonymous letter sent to his home.


    "You are a criminal. You and your family will pay for your crimes.

    "We are going to have our revenge by attacking your wife and your children and organise a pulsa denura against you," the letter said.


    A pulsa denura is a rabbinic curse intended to lead to the death of the recipient.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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