Israel’s Use of Draconian Military Orders to Repress Palestinians in the West Bank
17 December 2019
Since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, it has ruled over Palestinians through military orders that deprive them of their basic civil rights, including to speak out, protest, or be politically active. Fifty-two years later, with no end in sight to Israeli military occupation and settlement expansion and amid talk of annexation, Israel should grant Palestinians rights at least equal to those afforded Israeli citizens.
For decades, Israel has used military law to jail Palestinian activists, outlaw political and nongovernmental organizations, and shut down media outlets. The law of occupation permits occupiers to restrict some civil rights in the early days of an occupation based on limited security justifications but does not permit suspending core rights for more than half a century.
This 92-page report examines recent cases of Palestinians jailed over their anti-occupation speech, activism, or political affiliations. Human Rights Watch used a rich variety of sources, including military court documents, to demonstrate that Israel has abused the laws of occupation to justify indefinitely depriving Palestinians of their basic rights.