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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 194th session
(Geneva, 20 March 2014)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of the above-mentioned parliamentarians, all of whom were elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in January 2006, and to the resolution it adopted at its 193rd session (October 2013),

Recalling that the parliamentarians concerned were elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council on the Electoral Platform for Change and Reform and arrested following the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier on 25 June 2006, that they were prosecuted and found guilty of membership in a terrorist organization (Hamas), holding a seat in parliament on behalf of that organization, providing services to it by sitting on parliamentary committees, and supporting an illegal organization, and that they were sentenced to prison terms of up to 40 months,

Noting that, while most of the parliamentarians concerned were released upon having served their sentences, many were subsequently rearrested, sometimes several times, and placed in administrative detention,

Taking into consideration the information provided at the hearing that the Committee held on 18 March 2014 with members of the Palestinian delegation to the 130th IPU Assembly (Geneva, March 2014),

Further recalling that the Diplomatic Advisor to the Knesset, in his letter of 6 January 2013, stated that the following five members of the Palestinian Legislative Council were in administrative detention, namely Mr. Basim Al-Zarrer, Mr. Fathi Qarawi, Mr. Nayef Al-Rojoub, Mr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi and Mr. Yaser Mansour,

Aware of reportsthat the administrative detention of Mr. Basim Al-Zarrer, Mr. Mahmoud Al‑Ramahi and Mr. Yaser Mansour was extended in May 2013 by six months and that Mr. Nayef Al-Rojoub and Mr. Fathi Qarawi were released on 27 March 2013 and 23 May respectively,

Aware furthermore that Mr. Ahmad Attoun, Mr. Mohamed Ismail Al-Tal and Mr. Hatem Qafisheh are also said to be in administrative detention, following their re-arrest by Israeli forces at the beginning of February 2013,

Recalling the letter from the Diplomatic Advisor to the Knesset of 6 January 2013, indicating that criminal indictments were issued against three members of the Palestinian Legislative Council under the following circumstances:

  • Mr. Hasan Yousef was arrested in July 2012 and charged with being a member of and active in Hamas: In September 2011, he allegedly started attempting to establish a sub-committee of Hamas leaders in the Ramallah area in order to revive and strengthen the organization’s activities in the West Bank;

  • Mr. Ahmad Mubarak was arrested in July 2012 and charged with being a member of and active in the above-mentioned sub-committee, and with providing assistance to Hamas;

  • Mr. Emad Nofal was arrested on 22 November 2012; the Military Commander ordered him to be placed in administrative detention for a period of six months, from 26 November 2012 to 22 May 2013; Mr. Nofal is said to be a senior and active Hamas member and a member of the outlawed Atslah WaTa’ir party, which is part of Hamas; the administrative order was presented for judicial review on 3 December 2012; however, it was then decided to file criminal charges against Mr. Nofal, based on the appearance of unclassified information that made this possible; on 6 December 2012, Mr. Nofal was charged with participating in the assembly of an unlawful association in that he participated in an illegal Hamas parade in the Qalqilia area in 2011; he has been remanded in custody until the end of the criminal proceedings,
Considering that, according to unofficial reports, Mr. Hasan Yousef was released on 19 January 2014, having spent 10 months in administrative detention, after which he served an 18‑month prison term for security-related offences,

Noting further that, with regard to the use of administrative detention:

  • The Supreme Court of Israel has ruled that the exceptional measure of administrative detention, which is usually ordered for six months, but can, in fact, be prolonged indefinitely, can only be applied if there is current and reliable information to show that the person poses a specific and concrete threat or if the confidential nature of the intelligence and the security of the sources prohibit the presentation of evidence in an ordinary criminal procedure; according to the Israeli authorities there are two avenues of judicial review, namely the independent and impartial military courts, which have the authority to assess the material relevant to the detainee in question in order to determine whether the decision to detain him/her was reasonable given his/her general rights to a fair trial and freedom of movement, and military prosecution, which implements a “cautious and level-headed” policy in the use of administrative detention; this approach is said to have reduced the number of administrative detention orders;

  • Human rights organizations in and outside Israel have repeatedly stressed that administrative detention is usually justified by reference to a “security threat”, without, however, specifying the scope and nature of the threat or disclosing the evidence; accordingly, although administrative detainees are entitled to appeal, this right is ineffective, given that the detainees and their lawyers do not have access to the information on which the orders are based and are therefore unable to present a meaningful defence,
Recalling that, during the mission in March 2013 by the delegation of the Committee on Middle East Questions to Israel and Palestine, an invitation was extended to the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to observe the legal proceedings in one or more cases of administrative detention of PLC members directly,

Recalling also the following information on file with regard to the revocation of the residence permits of three PLC members: In May 2006, the Israeli Minister of the Interior revoked the East Jerusalem residence permits of Mr. Muhammad Abu-Teir, Mr. Muhammad Totah and Mr. Ahmad Attoun, arguing that they had shown disloyalty to Israel by holding seats in the PLC; the order was not implemented, owing to their arrest in June 2006; after their release in May/June 2010, the three men were immediately notified that they had to leave East Jerusalem; Mr. Abu-Teir was ordered to leave by 19 June 2010 and, refusing to do so, was arrested on 30 June 2010 and later deported to the West Bank; the other two parliamentarians were ordered to leave by 3 July 2010 and, likewise refusing to comply with the order, took refuge in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) building in Jerusalem, from which they were removed by the Israeli authorities on 26 September 2011 and 23 January 2012, respectively; with regard to Mr. Attoun, it appears that at the beginning of 2013, he was in administrative detention in Israel; it also appears that Mr. Totah has been remanded in custody since then, awaiting trial on charges of illegally entering Jerusalem; in response to a petition against the revocation of the residence permits and the deportation orders filed with the Supreme Court, on 23 October 2011 the Court asked the Government to respond within 30 days to the claim that the Minister of the Interior did not have legal authority to revoke a residence permit; according to the letter from the Diplomatic Advisor to the Knesset, after several delays, the Government submitted its response in July 2012 and the next hearing was scheduled for 16 January 2013,

Considering that it appears from unofficial reports that Mr. Totah was released on 16 January 2014, following a decision by the Supreme Court, in which it held that the 24 months he had spent in prison were enough; a week later, the public prosecution approved the Supreme Court’s decision and the releasing decision was issued, on condition that he be isolated from the city of Jerusalem,

Bearing in mind, lastly, that, in its concluding observations on the third periodic report of Israel under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the United Nations Human Rights Committee recommended, inter alia, that all persons under Israel’s jurisdiction and effective control be afforded full enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Covenant,

  1. Expresses its deep concern at reports that up to six PLC members remain in administrative detention and reiterates its wish to receive official information on this point, including with regard to the reported release from such detention of two other PLC members, namely Mr. Fathi Qarawi and Mr. Nayef Al-Rojoub;

  2. Regrets the fact that, as recent reports show, even when PLC members are released, they remain subject to renewed arrest and can be placed in administrative detention again at any time, a practice which lends weight to claims that the use of such detention is arbitrary;

  3. Draws once again attention to the need for further clarification as to how, given that administrative detention often relies on classified evidence, those so detained can fully benefit from due process in practice, and to what extent they can effectively challenge their deprivation of liberty, as the authorities affirm; sincerely hopes therefore, that invitations to attend judicial reviews of PLC members in administrative detention will materialize soon and requests the Secretary General to make the necessary arrangements for a Committee member to attend at least one such hearing;

  4. Takes note with interest of Mr. Hasan Yousef’s recent release; would like to receive a copy of the court ruling and to know whether any conditions were placed on his release; renews its request for a copy of the indictments in the cases of the two other PLC members who, according to the Israeli authorities, are facing criminal charges in order to better understand the facts underpinning the charges and verify whether the latter indeed relate primarily to membership of and activity in Hamas; recalls in this regard its previous concerns that the PLC members who were sentenced shortly after the 2006 elections were convicted not on specific criminal charges, but rather on account of their political affiliation;

  5. Wishes to receive official confirmation that Mr. Totah was released and, in that case, to receive a copy of the legal decisions which brought about his release so as to understand better the legal proceedings to which he was subjected and any conditions placed upon him;

  6. Is deeply concerned nevertheless that he and Mr. Abu-Teir have been effectively removed from East Jerusalem, Mr. Attoun reportedly being in administrative detention in Israel; reiterates its long-standing concerns about the decision to revoke their residence permits and the manner of its implementation; considers that the revocation is at odds with the Hague Convention (IV) of October 1907 on the rules of customary international law, Article 45 of which stipulates that the inhabitants of an occupied territory, of which East Jerusalem may be considered an example, are not to be compelled to swear allegiance to the occupying power;

  7. Is concerned that no official information has been forthcoming on the petition to the Supreme Court challenging their revocation; fears that this may well indicate that, despite the urgency of the matter, given the impact on the lives of the individuals concerned and the fact that almost four years have passed since they were notified, the Court has yet to adopt its findings; sincerely hopes that the Court will rule on this matter without delay;

  8. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the Israeli parliamentary authorities and the sources, inviting them to provide the requested information;

  9. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report back to it in due course.


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