About ten days ago, Sari Bashi [Executive Director of the Israeli human rights organization GISHA, which was founded to advocate for Palestinian freedom of movement. wrote [in Hebrew] about one application of the Israeli military’s use of secret evidence against Palestinian detainees.
Bashi wrote that: “In the six years in which Gisha has been providing legal assistance to Palestinians, the High Court justices have yet to deliver a decision that goes against classified material presented by the Internal Security Agency (Shin Bet)“.
She added that “Experience shows that information about security risks can be based on  statements made by collaborators trying to please their handlers, and  people can be accused as security risks based on non-violent political activism,  a refusal to serve as a collaborator for the ISA [Israeli Security Agency],  a relative’s actions against the State of Israel, and  even because of the mere fact that a relative was injured or killed by the military, rendering the entire family suspect of wanting to seek revenge. And yes, it’s safe to assume that  in some cases the classified material does contain concrete evidence of violent actions.“.
One case taken on by GISHA illustrates how this secret evidence is used: a Palestinian man was arrested in 2010, but then, on the basis of secret evidence, was taken out of prison and sent by the military to Gaza — expelled, exiled, deported — an action that was upheld by the Israeli Supreme Court on the basis of secret evidence:
You can’t sell Bakr Haffi’s case to the mainstream media, and you can’t win it in the Israeli High Court of Justice. The 38-year-old Palestinian man, a bee keeper by trade, has not seen his wife and two daughters for two years. It all began when he was arrested in his home in Tulkarem in the northern West Bank on suspicion of being a Hamas activist. After a month of interrogation that yielded no results, a military judge ordered his release. But instead of releasing him back to his home and family in Tulkarem, the military removed him to the Gaza Strip, which is listed as his place of residence in the Israeli-administered Palestinian population registry. Israel refuses to recognize relocation from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, even for people like Bakr, who moved to the West Bank back in 1999 and established a family there”.
So, it appears — and, can it be so? — that although an Israeli military judge in an Israeli military court in the West Bank ordered this man’s release, other military officers ordered the man to be taken to Gaza. In the current circumstances, this is a one-way ticket, with no possibility of return to the West Bank [although, under all the important agreements of the Oslo process, signed by Israel and the P.L.O. in the mid-1990s. the West Bank and Gaza were specifically said to constitute a single political unit … What happened to change that? Ariel Sharon’s unilateral “disengagement” which removed 8,000 Israeli settlers, and the military + security forces protecting them, from Gaza in September 2005…]
What is not entirely clear is whether the military judge knew what was about to happen, or maybe even ordered Bakr’s removal to Gaza as part of his ruling to release him from detention? Or, did another branch of the military take it upon itself to, in effect, make its own ruling on Bakr’s fate, regardless of what the military judge decided.
Continue reading Sari Bashi [Gisha] on Israeli military use of secret evidence