Minister without Portfolio Ezra (Likud Party) proposes mass detention of Sharon's opponents

by Aaron Lerner

Date: 25 July 2004

Minister without Portfolio, Gidon Ezra (Likud) told Israel Radio this
morning that Israel should put under administrative detention anyone who
might possibly be thinking about carrying out dangerous activity in
order to stop Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "disengagement" plan. Ezra,
who was formerly in the Shabak (ISS, Shin Bet") included among those who
should be detained the members of the various groups that advocate the
rights of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.

Under administrative detention it is possible to hold people without
charge for years without ever advising them why they have been detained.
Historically, judges have typically ruled to continue administrative
detention based on the recommendation of the Shabak that the Shabak has
"evidence" that the person should continue being detained without that
"evidence" actually ever being subject to review.

Those subject to administrative detention receive no compensation for
either the loss of freedom or denial of the ability to make a living.

It remains unclear how the threat of mass detention, coming the same day
as human chain from Jerusalem to Gaza launches protest against Sharon's
retreat plan, will have a chilling effect on future protest.

Israel Radio also reported this morning that the police say that,
contrary to the headline making statements yesterday by Public Security
Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, they have absolutely no information about
intent among extreme-right groups to carry out a terror attack on the
Temple Mount in Jerusalem - just they just think that it may be possible.

Earlier this month Hanegbi made headlines when he warned that extremists
are plotting assassinations, though later officials clarified that he
was speaking from an assessment of the charged political atmosphere
rather than from specific intelligence.

Former Public Security Minister Uzi Landau said on Israel Radio this
morning that while the authorities should redouble their efforts that
administrative detention was not called for.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
pager 03-6106666 subscriber 4811