Hussam Khader’s appeal against his Administrative Detention was heard this morning by Israel’s Supreme Court in Jerusalem…
There has been no decision yet, it seems.
This will be a first test of whether or not there has been any progress, as a result of the agreement to end the prisoners’ hunger strike actions, in limiting the use of Administrative Detention orders [given to Palestinians by Israeli military courts in the West Bank] to exceptional cases in exceptional circumstances, as human rights organizations have urged.
Jawad Bulous, an Israeli Arab/Palestinian attorney from the Galilee who has offices in East Jerusalem and who is retained by the Ramallah-basedPalestinian Prisoners Society/Club, presented the case to Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday. Bulous urged Supreme Court Judge Elyakim Rubenstein to widen the small window that he opened when he presided over the Court’s consideration of the appeals of Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diab.
He reportedly noted that Hussam Khader has been in jail on an Administrative Detention order for nearly a year already.
In recent rulings, the Israeli Supreme Court has noted that Administrative Detention is an order that should be used to prevent a danger from happening — and not to punish for past actions — so one term should be considered enough to have served the purpose. The Court has suggested that terms of Administrative Detention should not be renewed automatically, or easily, without higher review.
Hussam Khader was given an initial order from an Israeli military court for six months Administrative Detention, which was renewed in December for another six months. Upon appeal by Jawad Bulous on behalf of the Palestinian Prisoners Society/Club, that six months’ renewal was reduced to three months. In February, however, it was re-extended for another three months — and this uncertainty is a major part of the torment of Administrative Detention.
Hussam Khader, a Fatah leader from Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus, whose family is originally from Jaffa, appeared in person before the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. In brief remarks to the judges, he expressed the hope that they would understand the nature of his case, and give him justice.
Qaddoura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society/Club in Ramallah, explained n a conversation on Tuesday that a close reading of the decisions of the Supreme Court in recent Prisoners Club cases suggests an awareness that there is something “embarassing” about the way Administrative Detention has been used.
In three recent cases, the Israeli High Court justices have commented that the aim of Administrative Detention should be to remove an immediate danger, which cannot reasonably be said to exist if an Administrative Detainee has been sitting in jail for six months…